Supreme Court expresses need for reforming social status of transgenders

Supreme Court expresses need for reforming social status of transgenders

Pointing out that transgenders have always been ostracized socially, politically and culturally, a petition has been filed by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) in the Supreme Court seeking for a grant of legal status of a "third and equal sex" to the transgenders.

A Supreme Court bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri while hearing the petition which sought for a legal recognition of transgenders stated that lack of education and social stigma against transgenders in India is the main reason why this section of the society has largely remained untouchables and have restrictive access to facilities despite being the citizens of the same country.

The bench was in favor of a policy which would help uplift their social status and give them adequate opportunities. The apex court was also eager to pass certain directions to ensure that the transgenders get their share of respect and rights in the society. Blaming lack of education and society’s mindset for this inequality, the Bench said transgenders are not admitted in schools or given jobs which results in miniscule employment opportunities for them.

The petition submits that transgenders are very much part of the society and are entitled to basic necessities of life, including nutrition, shelter, medical facilities, education, right to work and not providing them with a legal entity is clear violation of the constitutional provisions.