NEW DELHI: The Centre is considering a proposal to open shelter homes for transgender people in order to address the existing concerns around the lack of shelter homes for people from the community.
The project which will be run on a pilot basis for at least a year will be carried out in three to five states. Each shelter home would be equipped to accommodate till 25 occupants.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will soon float an expression of interest for NGOs for running the shelter homes. One of the potential locations is the national capital.
“The shelter homes would serve the purpose of halfway homes… We are coming across several cases where people from the transgender community have been abandoned by their families, are vulnerable to risk and are forced into begging. These homes would not only be able to provide infrastructural support to them but will also help build a support system among them,” said a senior official, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
The transgender people will also have access to skill training programmes in order for them to be able to have access to a range of professions that they can fall back on for their livelihoods.
The ministry is also planning to tie up with the National Institute of Social Defence and National Backward Classes Finance & Development Corporation in order to impart skills to the occupants of the shelter homes.
The objective is to give people from the transgender community job placements at the end of the course, starting with government offices.
However, officials in the ministry pointed out to the challenge in the skill development programmes.
“The programmes have to be so designed that people from the community find a viable form of livelihood once the course is over. Finding them employment would be another challenge. Alongside imparting skills, it is important to raise awareness among people so that transgender people do not face social stigma and discrimination,” said another official.