BENGALURU: In a first, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has proposed to set up a shelter home for the transgender community, as a part of its homeless shelters project in the city. These transit shelters will provide stay and food. In addition, instructors will be hired, to impart vocational training
“Transgenders are ousted from their homes and families. They end up on the streets and resort to begging or sex work. Landlords also discriminate against them, refusing to rent out flats, fearing that the neighbours will have problems. This leaves them with no option but to remain homeless and unemployed,” said Deputy Commissioner (Welfare) Jagadeesh.
The department has identified a BBMP property near Upparpet police station, near the KSRTC bus stand in Majestic area. The building is a health centre that’s not being used currently. It will be renovated and turned into a shelter by next week.
“This is a transit shelter. Transgenders will stay there for a short period and be trained for vocational courses such as gardening, candle-making, tailoring, computer course, etc. The NGOs we are working
with will arrange for job opportunities related to these skill-sets. This will give the individuals a moral boost as well,” Jagadeesh added.
Depending on the course, they will be able to stay there for three to six months, free of cost. Around 100 people can be accommodated in the shelter. A public toilet next to the premises was inspected by officials recently and the building is also being re-painted.
“They will have police protection nearby as well. We are in talks with transgender rights activist, Akkai Padmashali, to identify people who can avail this facility. NGO Solidarity Foundation will help in finding jobs,” he added.
Commenting on the same, Akkai Padmashali said, “We welcome the move of a shelter home, but demand that it be long-term and not temporary. While it is a good move, we are cautious, as there have been instances of harassment and violence when a vulnerable section is isolated. The BBMP also needs to execute awareness programmes for transgenders.”