Rajasthan constitutes transgender welfare fund
The Rajasthan government has set up a welfare fund, among the first such in the country, dedicated to the upliftment of the transgender community. The fund will be utilized for the social and financial upliftment of the community, and bring its members to the mainstream, officials said.
In August 2016, Rajasthan constituted a Transgender Welfare Board with three members from the community with the social justice department minister as its chairman. The welfare fund is part of 2021-22 budget announcements. Welcoming the government’s decision, Member of Transgender Welfare Board, Pushpa Nai said, “Rajasthan is the first state in the country with a separate development fund for the community.” She said the transgender development fund will focus on skills, awareness, education, and infrastructure like the setting up of community halls.
“A sum of ₹8.82 crore as annual allocation has been made by the government for the fund. The state has made provision of financial assistance for sex change, under which ₹2.5 lakh will be provided to the applicant,” said Pushpa. There are provisions of financial aid in one form or the other in very few states across the country. Tamil Nadu provided ₹4000 as financial aid to transgenders in light of the pandemic to start small businesses, while Karala also provides financial assistance for sex realignment surgeries for the members of the community.
As per census 2011, the transgender population in Rajasthan was 16,500. Thereafter in joint mapping with the UNDP, it was found to be around 22,517. It is expected that the population has reached 75,000, said Pushpa.
The guidelines of the welfare fund state that the money allocated will be utilized for ensuring financial assistance, housing, medical facilities, education, and employment to the transgender community. For self-employment and skill development, the transgender community between 21 and 50 years of age will be given 25% cost or a maximum of ₹50,000.
The state government has also decided to organize festivals, cultural and traditional fairs, games and sports competitions for the community at the state and district level on National Transgender Day held on November 20 every year. For state-level programmes, ₹10 lakh is sanctioned and ₹1 lakh for district level.
The state government will allocate two bigah land near Jaipur for state-level community hall and old age home along with counselling at all the seven divisional headquarters.