The conclusion in the latest state draft policy for women that transgenders are a result of hormonal imbalance has not gone down well with the LGBT (lesbian,gay,bisexual and transgender) community.
At the first meeting of the core committee that drafted the policy Friday,representatives of the community spent over two hours fighting the notion that the transgender identity was a disease.
The policy,drafted after consulting community activists,suggests the problem could be addressed by medical assistance at the time of pregnancy.
Proper medical advice and guidance should be made available regarding hormonal imbalance, the draft put up on the women and child welfare ministry website says.
Transgenders and activists say this reduces the community identity to a disease.
A member of Lesbians and Bisexuals in Action A Queer Feminist LBT Collective based in Mumbai,said,Pre-delivery medical assistance cannot be a solution.
The draft describes transgenders as those with hormonal imbalance and those who grow under the influence of girls and women.
This was challenged by Bindumadhav Khire,a Pune-based gay rights activist. While most suggestions made by us have been considered by the core committee members,there is still no consensus on the terminologies used in the draft, said the president of Samapathik Trust.
Khire said a Hijra Welfare Board set up by the state government a few months ago would work on understanding the community issues better.
Another LGBT community member said: The way foetuses cant be selected based on gender,they cannot be selected on the basis of perceived personality disorder either.
Medical experts questioned whether it was appropriate to bombard a pregnant woman with hormones.
Would the policy makers want to interfere with a womans hormones? said Kalpesh Gajiwala,citys leading plastic surgeon from Saifee Hospital.
The draft,which claims to have included transgenders in the policy to resolve their issues and to put an end to their agony,speaks of ways of educating the public and making remedies available.
But are there any studies? said Gajiwala.
Varsha Gaikwad,women and child welfare minister and a member of the core committee that drafted the policy,said,These suggestions came from women. Mothers face stress and social stigma. Hence,it is essential to address these issues separately. However,nothing has been decided yet.