Transgender community protests in Hyderabad against Bill

Union Government passed the Bill in Lok Sabha on December 17 with 27 amendments to the previous version

By   |  Published: 24th Dec 2018  10:31 pm
Transgender community protests at Dharna Chowk Photo:Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: Demanding the withdrawal of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill- 2018 from Rajya Sabha, the transgender community in the city along with other activists staged a protest here on Monday.

According to the community members, the Bill violates their right to self-identity and Constitutional rights, encodes discrimination, offers no reservations while criminalising their traditional livelihood of begging.

After reworking on Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill- 2016, the Union Government passed it in Lok Sabha on December 17 this year with 27 amendments to the previous version.

Community members said there were no alternatives put forward for employment and reservation in the Bill which was passed despite a few Parliament members raising concerns about fundamental flaws and seeking the deferral of the Bill.

Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill- 2018 which was passed on July 26 was also opposed by transgender and women community members with a demand to redraft it.

A transgender and activist, Chandramukhi said the version of the Bill upholds criminalisation of trans people for organised begging while denying any opportunities in education, employment and healthcare via reservation.

“The Bill instead of protecting rights, criminalises traditional ‘hijra’ livelihoods and family structures. It encodes discrimination with lower penalties for sexual and physical violence against trans people,” Chandramuki said.

On Trafficking Bill, the community said it compounds criminalisation of the trans by providing a staggering 10 years of punishment for organised begging and does not distinguish between voluntary sex work and delineate it apart from trafficking.

“This Bill criminalises the administration of hormones and other medicine while again not distinguishing between coercion and assistance in accessing gender affirming hormone therapy,” said Vyjayanthi Vasanta of Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samithi.