Taking a progressive step, the Kerala government has announced programmes for the transgender community with an aim to bring them to the forefront of the society.
The initiatives, including special scholarships to transgender students and wedding grants to trans couples, were announced by Kerala’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare, KK Shailaja recently.
As part of the move, a total of Rs 6 lakh has been sanctioned by the Social Justice department. The scholarship scheme is targetted at trans students, who are in government-aided and self-financing educational institutions — from the seventh standard to college.
Under this programme, Rs 1,000 per month would be given to each trans student studying in Class VII to Class X for a period of 10 months. Those pursuing higher secondary education (Class XI and XII) would be receiving Rs 1,500 per month and those pursuing a graduate and post-graduate degrees, diploma, and professional courses would be getting Rs 2,000 per month.
The minister told the media that as the transgender community was an educationally backward group, there was a need to give more care and consideration for its members. Witnessing the hardships faced by such individuals on an everyday basis prompted the government to launch the scheme, she added.
Besides this, a recent survey had found that 58 percent of transgender students drop out of educational institutions in the state without being able to complete even the basic education, the minister added.
The department also decided to extend Rs 30,000 financial aid for trans couples who enter into wedlock legally, in the current financial year. The scheme is aimed at helping trans people build a social life through marriages.
A total of Rs 3 lakh has been sanctioned for the wedding grant, which would benefit 10 trans couples.
Applications for the grant can be submitted between six months up to one year after the marriage, the minister added.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)