Transgender rights bill might be reintroduced this Parliament session, say MPs
The government is committed to ensuring the rights of transgender people, two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members of Parliament said on Friday, indicating that the controversial transgender rights bill may be introduced in Parliament during the ongoing session.
At a public hearing and event to mark transgender rights in Delhi, the two — East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir and North East Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari, along with senior doctors, police officers, journalists and public policy professionals — heard testimonies of various transgender activists ranging from housing problems and human rights violations to education woes and family violence.
“The Prime Minister’s dream of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ won’t be fulfilled until all of you are a part of it,” Gambhir said at the eighth Hijra Habba. “We are trying to address your problems through the transgender rights bill… this government understands your issues, they won’t go unheard,” Tiwari added.
The transgender rights bill, originally introduced in 2016, triggered a controversy with many activists saying the legislation hurt the community and didn’t address key issues such as violence, employment, education and separate quotas. The bill was sent to a parliamentary committee, and lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. The government has already said it is committed to bringing the bill before Parliament again. Tiwari suggested that there could be more discussion if activists found some provisions problematic.
The event also marked five years of the landmark Supreme Court judgment that affirmed the rights of transgender people. “This day is important for us. We are as much citizens as anyone else, and we should get as much rights as anyone else,” Simran Sheikh, an activist, said.
Abhina Aher, another activist, flagged that transgender people continued to face issues with housing and loans.
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau on Wednesday arrested Congress leader Dinesh Bassi for alleged irregularities that led to losses to the Amritsar Improvement Trust during his tenure as its chairman from 2019-21. After a preliminary inquiry, Bassi was booked under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code besides under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
A high tech internet-based video surveillance system is being installed at 756 railway stations across 10 railway zones of the country, including 26 stations of North Central Railways. The 26 NCR stations to be equipped with VSS under Nirbahaya fund include Gwalior, Agra Fort, Aligrah, Mirzapur, Vindhyachal, Anwarganj and Raja ki Mandi, Babina, Datia, Mahoba, Phaphund, Tundla, Orai, Etawah, Lalitpur, Sikohabad, Firozabad, Banda and Murena among others.
As many as 12 government-aided and government-run secondary schools in Prayagraj have been equipped with smart class facilities under the Smart City initiative's second phase, said state education department officials. These schools will also be able to connect with smart schools in other cities of the state through live streaming in the coming months. Earlier in the first phase, eight schools were embellished with smart class facilities.
An FIR has been registered against the contractor of the under-construction building, where a six-year-old boy died after falling into a six-foot deep lift shaft filled with water in Dombivli on Tuesday. The contractor was identified as Rupesh Patil, 36, who was booked by Dombivli Manpada police under IPC Section 304A, causing death by negligence.
Sirathu MLA Pallavi Patel shot into the limelight after she defeated deputy chief minister Keshav Maurya in the last Assembly election. Two days ago, she was detained along with her mother Krishna Patel and opposition alliance leader Om Prakash Rajbhar when they staged a protest over the celebration of the birth anniversary of her father and influential OBC leader Sonelal Patel.