Apropos the write-ups on Transgenders in the Sub-city of Dwarka that appeared in the last issue dated 29 January 2022. Many Dwarkites have talked about men probably from the outskirts of the city changing to salwar-kurta and putting on gaudy clothes and loud makeup and acting as transgenders to get alms as many from the public consider giving them alms as a blessing and as a holy gesture. The shocking spurt in the numbers and activities of the transgenders, sometimes turning aggressive upon not getting the expected alms is also mentioned in some of the opinions from Dwarkites. It is not that all the transgenders may be males but, yes, there are chances that some male unemployed youths might be taking the route of acting as transgenders to generate easy money. To bring a complete stop to such unscrupulous activities, it may be mentioned that the proposed move to include transgenders in the list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for 27 per cent quota in jobs might bring some respite.
This move is and should be considered a progressive one, in the sense that transgenders will get equal opportunity to enter services be it governmental or semi-governmental jobs, thereby put an end to those camouflaging as eunuchs whereas they being actually males and public even put a complete stop to paying alms to them in the traffic signals as also putting an end to those transgenders contention that as no one provides them any job, they are compelled to go for begging. At the same, it is not that opportunity is not provided to transgenders but instead it seems the lack of initiative on their own part to avail the opportunity available, which is definitely not in the right direction.
Not out of place to mention that already we have a system, in which while applying for any college course or even admission to higher education or even jobs, there is indeed a column which gives option of selecting male, female or transgender which proves that they are no longer a discriminated lot and it is only their sincere efforts to look for grabbing those opportunities instead of going-in for making easy money facing disrespects even. There are hardly any traffic signals across Delhi and maybe throughout the nation and more particularly in Dwarka sub-city where day-by-day the populace of transgenders are increasing in an alarming proportion and it seems transgenders have allocated traffic signals amongst themselves to beg for alms. If quota is provided, then they get more good opportunity to serve in service and contribute their might to the development of nation, instead of seeking alms in traffic signals. There are many foreign countries where transgenders perform well in jobs and are never discriminated against and in fact, given the opportunity, are more sincere in their job. Even in India, we see transgenders working in various organizations including hospitals and performing rather well.
Opportunity is already provided albeit to not much larger extent and instead should be given more slots to inculcate them in society and thus the stigma, poverty and disrespect attached with their ongoing business of begging in traffic signals removed once for all. Public should henceforth stop entertaining them by giving alms in the hope of getting blessings which encourages them to do this business of getting alms and instead public should educate them to compulsorily opt for the route of working, earning and lead a decent life. Even counselling can be given to them while waiting at the traffic signals in this regard instead of giving them Rs. 10 or 20 as alms, which will go a long way in educating them of the opportunity available to them, which many of the transgenders might not be aware even and enable them to live a respectable life instead of depending on begging. As opined by one of the Members of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), it true that caste is assigned by birth and thus whoever is born in a community should be given reservation benefits in that particular community, that is, if a transgender, being not a class but instead of medical condition and a gender, is born in a particular caste family should be put in the corresponding list.
But at the same time, it is felt there is no harm in considering a quota for them in OBC as it will provide social protection to the most marginalized social group and considering the fact that there are only a few lakh transgenders in the country and their inclusion in the OBC list dealing with population of crores will not make much of a difference. On the one hand, many of us believe in getting blessings from a transgender by shelling out some money as alms, on the other hand, we see opposition to a step taken in right direction towards transgenders’ upliftment in the society.