Landmark Progress for LGBTQ Rights: Jharkhand's Advisory Board, Tamil Nadu's Policy Overhaul, and Tripura's Protection Cells

Jharkhand formed an LGBTQ advisory committee. Tamil Nadu is developing policies for LGBTQ and transgender communities. Tripura is setting up district transgender protection cells.
Landmark Progress for LGBTQ Rights: Jharkhand's Advisory Board, Tamil Nadu's Policy Overhaul, and Tripura's Protection Cells

New Delhi: The governments of Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Tripura, in collaboration with voluntary organizations, have initiated several measures to support LGBTQ communities. These efforts underscore a growing commitment to addressing the unique challenges faced by these communities.

In Jharkhand, a collaborative effort between the government and the corporate sector has led to the formation of an advisory committee for LGBTQ welfare, spearheaded by Utthan Sanstha under the Alliance India Sahas Project in Jamshedpur.

Similarly, Tamil Nadu is crafting distinct policies for LGBTQ and transgender communities in compliance with directives of the Madras High Court, as shared by Social Welfare Secretary Jayashree Muralidharan.

Meanwhile, in Tripura, the Social Welfare Department is establishing transgender protection cells in every district to address the challenges and concerns of the community.

These initiatives signify a broader trend of increasing recognition, both at the governmental and societal levels, of the rights and needs of LGBTQ and transgender communities in India. By establishing advisory boards and formulating dedicated policies, these states are taking proactive steps to combat discrimination, social exclusion and economic disadvantages faced by these marginalized groups.

Moreover, these initiatives aim not only to provide immediate relief and support but also to foster a more inclusive and equitable society. They serve as a model for other states in India, emphasizing the importance of tailored policies and community involvement in addressing the needs of marginalized groups.

Establishment of LGBTQ Advisory Committee in Jharkhand

In a collaborative effort, the Jharkhand government and the corporate sector have joined forces to establish an advisory committee focused on the welfare of the LGBTQ community. This initiative, led by Utthan Sanstha under the Alliance India Sahas Project, was officially launched in Jamshedpur.

The inauguration ceremony witnessed the presence of distinguished personalities such as Tata Steel Workers Union President Tunnu Chaudhary, Youth INTUC President Rakeshwar Pandey, Jharkhand High Court Advocate Sonal Tiwari and the head of department of Ranchi Rinpas.

The primary objective of the advisory board is to provide comprehensive and effective support to the transgender community in the state. Among the planned initiatives is the implementation of sanitation programs in collaboration with district magistrates, aimed at addressing the community’s specific health and hygiene concerns.

Amarjeet, secretary of the Utthan Sanstha, highlighted the historical lack of dedicated initiatives for the LGBTQ community in Jharkhand. He underscored the pivotal role of the advisory board in bridging this gap and facilitating enhanced support and integration for the community.

Comprising a diverse array of members, including Youth INTUC President Rakeshwar Pandey, Advocate Sonal Tiwari, social workers Poorvi Ghosh, Anita Singh, Usha Singh, Principal Ashok Kumar Jha of LBSM, Annie Amrita, Ranchi Rinpas, Dr. Manish Kiran, Sangeeta, Yogika Kumari from Dalsa, Ryan, Manju Ravi Singh, Razia Kinnar, Dolly Kinnar, and Madhu Kinnar, the advisory board is poised to make significant strides in championing LGBTQ rights and welfare in Jharkhand.

Policy Formulation for LGBTQ and Transgender Individuals in Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu, the state government is actively developing separate policies for the LGBTQ and transgender communities, in response to directives from the Madras High Court.

Social Welfare Secretary Jayashree Muralidharan conveyed this information in a status report filed by State Public Prosecutor Hassan Mohammad Jinnah, reviewed by Justice N Anand Venkatesh during a recent hearing.

The report detailed an extensive consultation process undertaken in February, involving regional meetings with stakeholders, including officials from the Social Welfare Department, representatives from the trans community, LGBTQ community members, welfare workers, and NGOs.

These discussions emphasized the need for a specialized policy for transgender individuals, advocating for reservations in education and employment to support this vulnerable group.

Members of the Transgender Welfare Board stressed the importance of a distinct policy for transgender persons, including trans women, trans men, and inter-gender individuals.

The English draft of the Tamil Nadu State Transgender Policy, 2024, was submitted to the government on May 15, with the Tamil translation pending approval.

Additionally, the government is revising the draft policy for the broader LGBTQ community, excluding trans persons to ensure tailored support for both groups. Justice Anand Venkatesh has set a three-month deadline to finalize these processes, highlighting their urgency.

Establishment of Transgender Protection Cells in Every District of Tripura

The Social Welfare Department of Tripura has initiated efforts to establish transgender protection cells across every district, serving as grievance redressal centers for the transgender community.

Lalfaktlinga Hrangchal, the Director of the Social Welfare and Social Education Department, highlighted these initiatives in a recent statement to ANI.

District magistrates have been urged to form these cells at the local level to address the safety and security concerns of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Additionally, the department introduced a social pension scheme providing a monthly pension of Rs 2,000 to eligible transgender beneficiaries, offering financial support to those in need.

Hrangchal revealed plans for a comprehensive state policy for transgender individuals, expected to be implemented within the next one to two months, aiming to provide a structured framework for their rights, welfare, and empowerment.

These initiatives demonstrate a proactive approach by the Tripura government to support and empower the transgender community, ensuring their safety, security, and well-being through dedicated policies and programs.

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