In what is definitely a landmark move, Odisha Government has decided to accord BPL Status and a host of other benefits to the Transgender committee. With this policy, Odisha has become the first Indian state to give transgenders social welfare benefits, including a pension, housing and food grains.
Odisha’s Department of Social Security was instrumental in providing benefits which will improve their quality of life and assist in their Social Inclusion. The move comes after the department worked in close tandem with the Transgender community and created policies addressing their basic needs. Granting them BPL status is just the beginning, claims Odisha Government.
Close to 40,000 members of the transgender community will be given Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards that will allow them to access benefits under various government welfare programmes. This includes schemes that provide free housing, 100 days of paid work annually, pensions and loans to start-up their own businesses. They would also be entitled to 5 kg of food grains every month under India’s National Food Security Act. The move will definitely empower the Transgender community which has been at the receiving end of discrimination and treated as a marginalized community.
The Transgender rights groups has welcomed Odisha’s new policy and called for its effective implementation.
Though there are bigger monsters like lack of education and employment opportunities which need to be tackled. This move can definitely inspire other States to follow cue and take revolutionary steps to transform the Transgender community and create a positive impact on their lives.