CHENNAI: The Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu government to build public toilets cum bathrooms for transgenders, where they live in large numbers in the city. The first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice Teekaa Raman passed the order on a PIL filed by one Devarajan.
The petitioner sought a direction to the state government to build public toilets and bathrooms for transgenders residing in large numbers, particularly in Tondiarpet, Choolaimedu, Pulianthope, Saidapet, here. The bench in its order said, "The Government Pleader submits that the Director of Social Welfare addressed a letter to the Joint Commissioner (Works), Corporation of Chennai to build exclusive public toilets and bathroom for third genders particularly in Tondiarpet, Choolaimedu, Pulianthope and Saidapet areas where more number of third genders are presently living in Chennai city."
"Since larger issue is involved in this matter, we hereby direct the petitioner to take survey and submit a report facilitating the department to take appropriate steps to build exclusive public toilets –cum-bathroom for third genders where more number of third genders is living," it said.
The bench then posted the matter to July 5. The petitioner claimed that a census taken in 2011 shows that there are around 10 lakh transgenders in the state, who are identified as third gender, apart from Male and Female.
The petitioner submitted that apart from other challenges faced by the transgender community such as education and employment, another important one was toilet exclusively for them, which is not available now. He further submitted that he had already sent a representation in this regard to the state government in 2016 but in vain.