THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Transgender persons of Kerala State AIDS Control Society (KSACS) TG Suraksha Project (Kollam) watched the Assembly proceedings here on Thursday.They were in the city to take part in a programme initiated to train them as Community Ambassadors.
After watching the House in session, Anudas said, “Visiting the Assembly was a new experience. We watched Chief Minister Oommen Chandy speak. It was reassuring to know that every nook and corner of the state was being represented and given its due importance as MLAs strongly pitched their cases. From the issues of beedi workers to that of the handloom artisans, they discuss all kinds of issues. It is good that our voices are represented.”
We are thrilled about the fact that we can walk, dressed as we are, in broad daylight, she said. Though it looks like a trifling little wish, many transgender persons are afraid to do it.
So, among the 361 transgender persons associated with the Kollam project, most were afraid about going public with their identity. Only 15 were bold enough to accept the responsibility of talking to police personnel about transgender persons, she said.
Anudas said that they also wanted to thank the government for bringing out India’s first Transgender Policy. Unfortunately, Social Justice Minister M K Muneer was held up at some meeting. “We regret the fact that we could not meet the minister. The manager of Suraksha Project (Kollam), Bijoy M V, said, “They often complain that the police behave badly, as most policemen do not understand the concept of third gender.
The transgender persons themselves should step up and adress this challenge. This training programme is an initiative to instil them with the confidence. It is funded by a Chennai-based NGO called Voluntary Health Services.” Bijoy said that many more training programmes were on the anvil.
The Suraksha project in Kollam is supported by an NGO called Loveland Arts Society. Earlier, the NGO with KSACS had organised a flight travel from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi, not just because Transgender (TG) people needed such an exposure. But,they wanted to spread awareness among everyone.