It is heartening to see different states and the local government stepping up to support the queer community. The latest entrant to the list of government supporting the non-binary people is the city of Bhopal.
In a welcoming move, the Bhopal administration has started issuing ID cards to the third genders. This step is taken so that they can avail government’s welfare schemes.
As per this, all members of the transgender community living in Bhopal would get the ID cards. These cards will make persons who identify as the third gender eligible for the schemes that are implemented by the social justice department of the state.
This is not the first time such a move has been made in the country. Earlier in September 2020, Uttar Pradesh government too came up with a similar action. The state set up a transgender welfare board under its social welfare department, which issued the ID cards for them.
The board was set up to for identifying transgender people, enlisting them, issuing identity cards, enrolling them to various educational institutions, and providing them with accommodation at various hostels and housing schemes listed under the state government.
Recently, the government of Kerala also announced programmes for the transgender community to bring them to the forefront of the society. The initiatives included special scholarships to transgender students and wedding grants to trans couples.
Incidentally, Kerala was the first Indian state to set up a board for the welfare of transgenders in 2016 to ensure justice and equality of opportunity for the community.
Since then, states like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Assam also set up Transgender Welfare Boards, and Maharashtra was also reportedly planning the same.
In recent times, states Telangana and West Bengal had alson made separate wards available for transgender persons who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who need to be tested for the infection.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)