Cabinet Approves The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016 on July 20th, 2016. Through this Bill the Government has evolved a mechanism for their social, economic and educational empowerment. The Bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society. It will lead to greater inclusiveness and will make the transgender persons productive members of the society. 

Transgender community is among one of the most marginalized communities in the country because they don’t fit into the stereotypical categories of gender of ‘men’ or ‘women’. Consequently they face problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, lack of education facilities, unemployment, lack of medical facilities and so on. 

The Bill will make all the stakeholders responsive and accountable for upholding the principles underlying the Bill. It will bring greater accountability on the part of the Central Government and Slate Governments/Union Territories Administrations for issues concerning Transgender persons.

Update: The Upper House of Parliament has passed the bill on July 21, 2016. 

After the new law comes into force, forcing a transgender to leave a village or residence, forcibly removing their clothes and parading them naked, or inciting them to beg or do similar forms of bonded labour, will be treated as atrocities and violence against them. These acts will be punishable with imprisonment up to two years, along with a fine.
The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, headed by Thaawar Chand Gehlot, had circulated a draft Cabinet note on the ‘Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2016’ to all ministries for their comments on March 23.
It proposed imprisonment of at least six months — and not more than two years — along with a penalty for people found guilty of compelling a transgender person to beg, denying them access to a public place, forcing or causing a transgender person to leave his/her house or village, and harming or injuring their physical or mental well-being.
The draft Bill included a chapter detailing a series of offences that will be treated as atrocity and violence against transgenders.
The draft Bill also said that transgenders who by birth do not belong to Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes may be declared members of the Backward Classes, and would be entitled to reservation under the existing ceiling for OBCs.
According to the 2011 Census, India has 6 lakh people belonging to the transgender community.

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