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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Bring transgender community under ambit of Covid relief scheme: Manipur HC to govt

The directive was issued in response to a PIL filed by Santa Khurai, secretary of All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal |
Updated: September 22, 2021 9:47:53 pm
Santa KhuraiShanta Khurai, secretary of All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association, who had filed the PIL seeking inclusion of members of the transgender community within the scheme (File photo by Deepak Shijagurumayum)

The High Court of Manipur on Tuesday directed the state government to include members of the transgender community within the ambit of the state’s Covid-19 relief scheme. The court also directed authorities to extend the date for the submission of the application beyond August 7.

Under the scheme, beneficiaries, whose livelihoods has been affected by the pandemic, are provided Rs 5,000, in two instalments of Rs 2,500 each.

The directive was issued in response to a PIL filed by Santa Khurai, secretary of All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association (AMNMA), seeking inclusion of transgenders as beneficiaries of the Chief Minister Covid-19 Affected Livelihood Support Scheme.

AMNMA is an apex body of the transgender community.

“People from the transgender community are one of the worst affected by the pandemic as all their traditional forms of livelihoods have been taken away due to the lockdown and curfew. They need financial support, and hence must also be included within the ambit of the scheme,” Khurai said while welcoming the decision.

In her petition, Khurai had said that the state launched the scheme to provide direct transfer of Rs 5,000 to every identified family whose livelihood has been directly affected by Covid-19. However, people from the transgender could not avail the benefit as the scheme was limited to ration cardholders, Khurai added.

The petitioner stated that many people from the marginalised communities in Manipur, especially transgenders, do not possess ration cards or relevant documents required to avail benefits of the scheme. As such, Khurai sought the court’s intervention for declaratory relief regarding expanding the beneficiaries to include transgender persons and also those in possession of any of the cards.

The scheme was launched by Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on August 22.

Those eligible include street vendors, farmers, daily wage workers, construction site workers, public transport drivers, school van drivers, shop assistants, artisans, weavers, performing artistes and home-based businessmen, among others.

The scheme is run under the state’s social welfare department.

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