KOZHIKODE: After unveiling the transgender policy, a first of its kind initiative aimed at helping the sexual minority community to fight discrimination and overcome social stigma, the Kerala Government is planning to introduce a housing scheme for members of the community.
The scheme, to be implemented in association with local bodies and NGO’s, will ensure a safe dwelling place for the financially weak among the community. Social Justice Department (SJD) director T V Anupama said unavailability of shelter is a major concern for the transgender community. “The department is working towards ensuring shelter for all homeless transgenders and a comprehensive project is under the consideration of the government. Two types of schemes are being considered by the government. They are providing short-term shelter homes and housing colony exclusively for the sexual minority,” said the officer.
“In the first phase, a night shelter will be offered to the transgender people. We are planning to launch the facility in Eranakulam district. Setting up a housing colony for the transgenders is also under the consideration of the department,” said Anupama.She said the department is searching for land to construct the facility in Ernakulam district. “We are searching for land to construct a night shelter in Ernakulam district. The fund for the project is available with the department. We will give priority to Ernakulam district. However, if land is not available in the district, other districts will also be considered”, said Anupama.
Discussions are on to implement a comprehensive housing scheme, similar to the state government’s LIFE mission, for the transgenders across the state. The possibility of including the sexual minority group in the list of LIFE mission beneficiaries will also be examined. A recent study conducted by the SJD revealed a majority of transgenders are still living in the streets due to lack of shelter. Even relatives are not willing to offer them an abode.To address the issue, the SJD will conduct a detailed survey with the support of NGOs and local bodies.
The housing scheme, to be implemented in association with local bodies and NGO’s, will ensure a safe dwelling place for the financially weak among the transgender community