In a bid to end the societal stigma towards transgenders, Kerala government unveiled its much-awaited Transgender Policy, becoming the first state to do so.

On Thursday, November 12, State Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson unveiled the document of the ‘State Policy for Transgenders in Kerala 2015’ by handing over its copy to noted transsexual-gender minority activist Akkai Padmashali during the inaugural ceremony of the first International Conference on Gender Equality, which began at nearby Kovalam.

Source: Facebook/ Akki Padmashali

The state Department of Social Justice has issued the policy to enforce the constitutional rights of transgenders (TGs), taking into account the Supreme Court judgement (2014) and the findings of the recent Kerala State TG Survey.

During the inaugural ceremony, state Minister for Social Justice M K Muneer said it is for the first time that any state government is framing out a policy for transgenders.

“We assure the transgenders in the state that your freedom and movement will be taken care of by the Kerala Government,” he said adding that the state has set a model for the entire country by formulating such a policy.

Source: Reuters

The policy covers all the categories of TGs, including male to female TGs and intersex people. It also emphasises the rights of the minority group to self identify themselves as man, woman or TG as stated in the Supreme Court judgement.

It also ensures them equal access to social and economic opportunities, resources and services, right to equal treatment under the law, right to live life without violence and equitable right in all decision making bodies. It also recommends the setting up of a TG Justice Board with state Minister for Social Justice as its chairperson.

(With inputs from PTI)