MADURAI: The non-inclusion of intersex persons in the Transgender Rights Bill, 2014, passed successfully in the Rajya Sabha recently is a cause for concern for gender rights activists.
Worried over this category of people being kept out of the purview of the Bill, Srishti Madurai, a gender rights organisation, has decided to take up their cause.
“We will impress upon BJP MP Shobha Karanlaje, who is likely to sponsor the Bill in the forthcoming Lok Sabha session, to include intersex persons too,” said Gopi Shankar, founder-member of Srishti.
Pointing out that intersex persons are minorities among the sexual minorities, he said, “As there is lack of awareness about them among the general public and medical practitioners, protection by law could help them from being subjected to sexual abuse.”
Explaining the condition, Bittu, faculty member of Centre for Neural Science Department, University of Hyderabad, told Express that persons born with a variety of conditions that lead to atypical development of physical and sexual characteristics are collectively referred to as intersex people.
“These conditions also involve abnormalities in external genitals, internal reproductive organs or sex-related chromosomes. Hence it is not possible to classify them as male or female at the time of the birth,” said Bittu.
Gopi claimed that children born with intersex conditions are subjected to sex selective surgeries and this hurts their physical and mental health. “What doctors fail to understand is the sexuality of these kids would become apparent only at the time of puberty,” he said.
According to Gopi, it is a clear violation of a resolution adopted by the United Nations that states that a child’s body cannot be irreversibly altered without his or her consent, in accordance with age and maturity. “That is why we want the intersex category to be included in the Bill,” he explained.