We’ve been overlooked, rue transgenders
Even as women, especially frequent travellers in government buses, rejoiced at the Punjab government’s decision to allow them free commute, members of the transgender community have expresses disappointment. With their number close to 8,000 in the state, they say the decision could also have been made applicable for them.
Mohini Mahant, 55, who has been working with the District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) and was the first member of the LGBT community to be appointed as a member of bench of Lok Adalat in the past, said, “It is good that the government is providing services for benefit of women. But what about us? We struggled hard and long to get voting rights in 2014. We need to travel, and buses are the only means of transport for many of us,” she said. Mohini holds a master’s degree in public administration.
Another transgender Aaina said they face difficulties travelling in buses, as such. “We are ridiculed and not given a seat. We were hoping that there will be something for us when the government announces free bus service for women. We are very disappointed,” she said.
Reshma, another transgender, said the coronavirus pandemic had already hit their earnings. “We are not given proper recognition in education, healthcare or jobs. The last year has been difficult, as social events where we performed have been few in number, and have restrictions. A free bus service will benefit us immensely. The government, however, has never though about us?” she said.