CHENNAI: The subsidy provided for transgenders’ self-employment entrepreneurship is going to be increased to Rs 50,000 in order to boost generation of employment and income for the marginalised community.
Minister for Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme V Saroja told the Assembly “The government is currently offering Rs 20,000 grant per head for the third gender to start self-employment like running grocery shop, rearing milch cows and eateries in order to raise the level of livelihood economically.”
She added, “This amount will be increased to Rs 50,000 per head. Every year, 150 third genders will benefit from the scheme. The government will earmark Rs 75 lakh for it.”
However, the transgender activists say that this will only help those living in rural areas but what they want is more support for education and employment opportunities in government services.
“The hike in self-employment grants will help transgenders living in rural areas. Because in cities, we often have to face problems in running businesses as the customers prefer to stay away from us,” Grace Banu, Director of Trans Rights Now Collective, said.
She noted, “We must be given more support for education and employment in government services. Educated transgenders nowadays prefer to go for coaching centres for competitive exams and get employed in government services.”
Principal secretary of the Department of Social Welfare K Manivasan said that education scholarships were being offered for encouraging transgenders, yet there were few takers for it.
“The government is already providing education scholarships for transgenders. Yet, we find less number of applications for the financial aid,” he told Express.
He observed that doubling up of the self-employment grant for transgenders would go a long way in helping the community tap the potential of starting small businesses for income generation.
Hygiene kits for cooks
Saroja also announced that hygiene kits with soap, nail cutter, towel and gloves would be provided to the cooks and assistants in 43,205 nutritious meal centres in the State so that they can use them for better hygienic practices. The government will spend Rs 1.73 crore for providing the kits.
Feeding charges to be hiked
The feeding charges for the children staying in government homes will be increased to Rs 900 from Rs 450 per month and the annual maintenance charges will be hiked to Rs 500 from Rs 150, incurring an expenditure of Rs 53.68 crore for government.