West Bengal government Wednesday announced the constitution of Transgender Development Board for the over 30,000 plus-strong community in the state.
“The Cabinet has passed a very important decision and this reflects the soft nature and the concern of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” state Women and Child Welfare Minister Sashi Panja said announcing the constitution of the board.
“Quite often we have seen that they (transgenders) have been deprived of education, employment opportunities, begging on the streets and going through gross neglect,” she said.
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“To attend to their problems, we have constituted a board. This will be the first board in the country which is formed for development and not welfare, which are formed for charity,” Panja said.
The board would be headed by a chairperson appointed by the state cabinet and have 12 members and representatives from various transgender communities, she said. “We will hand them out I-cards, look after their health and education and ensure overall development which is their right”, Panja said, adding, it would help in having a proper census of the community.
“But we believe there will be much more (transgenders),” she said.
Only Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have transgender development bodies but those are meant for welfare and not development, she added.