In a landmark move, the Odisha government has allowed the transgender community to participate in Independence Day parade this year and has also initiated the process to recruit them as prison wardens.
"For the first time in the country, the Odisha government has allowed the transgenders to participate in the state level parade to be held at Mahatma Gandhi Marg on August 15," General Secretary of TG Surakshya Trust Pratap Sahoo said.
The state government, he said, has communicated its decision to the Commissionerate of Police.
"A platoon comprising 30 transgenders have already started their rehearsal under the guidance of a trained teacher at Nayapally area," he said.
Meanwhile, in accordance with a Supreme Court directive on transgenders, the state government has decided to recruit them as jail warders following which the police have informed the Odisha Subordinate Staff Selection Commission (OSSSC) to begin their recruitment.
"Transgenders will be doing duty in jails as warders. They will have to succeed in the qualifying examination with other candidates. A letter to this effect has been sent to the Odisha Subordinate Staff Selection Commission to take necessary steps in this regard," ADG (Prisons) Manoranjan Patnaik said.
Clarifying about the inclusion of transgenders as a gender category in the recruitment of jail warders, Deputy Secretary of Home Department B B Mishra said in a letter to that their physical standards should be kept at par with women candidates as per the observation of the Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD).