Courts make laws, but it is society that brings about change and acceptance.
The Supreme Court of India has recognised transgenders as a distinct community and necessitated the government to provide them with safeguards and the right to identify themselves as transgenders. However, a lot more needs to be done towards their empowerment. Mumbai First, a think tank, and K.C. Law College, Churchgate collaborated to organise a panel discussion on a new initiative to bring about awareness on the issues and challenges faced by transgenders and their legal and social rights.
The panel comprising of judges, lawyers, urban thinkers and citizens highlighted various themes of discussion analysing the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 such as legal recognition of transgender after NALSA judgement, transgender inclusion in the society along with an attempt to reduce transphobia and sensitisation and public awareness.
Sensitising the public, was the major point of discussion as one of the panelists mentioned that before being a male or female, everyone is a human first. Thus, should be given an opportunity to live a dignified life.
The panel further drew few action points such as restarting the discussion on further drafts of the Transgender Rights Rules and trying to involve members from the community. Their feedback, reinforcing the importance of being included in the National AIDS Control Organisation of the Health Ministry and improving the statistics of HIV AIDS infection in Gay and Transgender community.
Other action points included holding more conversations and virtual sessions with Humsafar Trust, the Department of Social Justice and Transgender Welfare board to get an insight of the challenges faced by the government in implementing or constructing the policies for this community, changing the mindsets of employers, making jobs more accessible and setting up inclusive workplaces. Conducting online sessions in schools, colleges and corporates, pushing for a detailed study in the upcoming census with a more refined enumeration process in every state, a proper plan for coordinating NGOs with both state and central government to provide services such as healthcare, education, legal aid, policing and livelihood and starting a dialogue with the education ministry to develop and implement a curriculum on gender and sexuality.