KOCHI: The Ernakulam office of the Social Justice Department is gearing up to make the city transgender-friendly. Officials said the district is housing and attending to the maximum number of transgender people in the state, though they are a floating community. “If Ernakulam takes the lead, that will be a model for other districts too,” an official said.
“Compared to other districts, the number of transgender people in Ernakulam are high. Communication between the government agencies and the transgender community is also better in our district. We are now planning to introduce a novel project in coordination with the National Health Mission to help the community,” said Sreeja, who is part of the upproject in the district.
Last year alone, 219 transgender people from the district benefitted from the schemes under the department, including scholarship for children, hostel fees, financial assistance for hormonal therapy during the pandemic, food kits and financial help for marriages. However, the officer said many are ignorant about the various schemes and only a few have come forward seeking help for marriage.
“Every student will get Rs 3,000 per month as scholarship from class seven onward. Last year, five transgender students availed the scholarship. For sex reassignment surgery and aftercare, 18 people received help in phases. We have also introduced schemes for skill development (Sakalyam) and emergency financial support (Karuthal) this year. Distance education students started receiving scholarships last year,” the officer said.