Discriminated even in death

Transgenders are being denied access to burial and cremation grounds in city.

By Author  |  Published: 2nd May 2017  12:00 amUpdated: 2nd May 2017  2:53 am
Rachana Mudraboyina, Transgender Activist

Hyderabad: Discrimination that haunts transgender people in the city at every step in their lives is not kind to them even in death. Such is the societal prejudice that transgenders mourning the death of one of them end up struggling to give a decent burial for the deceased.

Highlighting the continued discrimination despite concerted efforts to raise awareness levels, activists say that transgender people are not allowed to use most of the mainstream burial grounds in the city.

“We have been discriminated for long enough. There is even discrimination in death as transgenders are not allowed to use mainstream burial grounds. It is really disheartening to live in a society where we are treated like some sort of non-human species,” laments Rachana Mudraboyina, a transgender activist.

Narrating a recent incident where a transgender in the city was denied permission for last rites which were to be conducted according to her faith, Rachana said, “We have invited the people concerned of the religion to come and perform their rituals, but they refused because the person who passed away was a transgender,” Rachana said.

Hurt at this, a section of activists in the city are up in arms against society for denying them entry into graveyards on the grounds of their gender. “Please stop treating us like aliens,” pleaded one.

“There have been quite a few cases that have surfaced where transgender people faced trouble over entry for burial in graveyards. Most of them finally resorted to burying the body outside the graveyard or to conducting the rites late in the night by paying extra money to the cemetery caretaker,” Madhav, a city-based LGBTQ activist said.

Along with the ongoing movements and awareness programmes being organised in the city, he said it is time to start a separate movement on this issue.

Expressing concern over denial of burial rights at different graveyards, G Krishna of Suraksha Society said the transgender community often meets with ridicule from society which still does not understand them.

“There is a separate burial ground for the Hijra community that belong to the Haveli built for them during the Nizam period, but there is no such provision for other transgenders in the city,” Krishna said.

“Sometimes we are forced to dress up a transgender as a man and fake their identity to get access into burial grounds. There is an immediate need to fight against this discrimination,” he said.