BHUBANESWAR: The Government is planning to launch a special scheme for self employment of transgenders in the State. Besides providing livelihood support, the scheme will also aim to improve the socio-economic condition of transgenders. Sources in Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department said the State Government has plans to promote self employment of transgenders through bank financing.
“The bank financing programme will be done on concessional terms and conditions basis. The department will support the participating banks in implementing the scheme,” an official said. The State Government will hold meetings with 25 financial institutions including Indian Overseas Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, UCO Bank, Axis Bank, Allahabad Bank, Utkal Grameen Bank, Odisha Gramya Bank and State Cooperative Bank to shortlist the banks interested to finance individuals under the proposed scheme.
As per 2011 Socio Economic and Caste Census, the population of transgenders in the State stands at 43,161 in rural and 4,632 in urban areas. SSEPD department officials said the disproportionately high levels of poverty and unemployment among them is a major concern. The draft of Odisha Transgender Policy, 2017 also revealed that the community is one of the most neglected sections of the society.
According to the survey statistics as of 2017, 14.5 per cent transgenders have no income and were living in poverty while, 69 per cent had income less than `5000 per month. Similarly, 16 per cent have a slightly higher income between `5,000 and `10, 000. However, this income is not assured and is mostly from begging and sex work. The survey further revealed that only one per cent of the transgender population has an income of more than `20,000 per month.
Officials said the State Government has taken up several programmes and schemes for welfare of transgender community and also shown willingness to implement schemes such as financial support to parents of transgender children; pre-matric scholarship for transgender students of Classes VII to X; post-matric scholarship; assistance for skill development training to transgenders and National Pension Scheme.