NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — India's transgender population of over 2 million is set to win an array of rights and entitlements. The Indian government has approved legislation geared at assisting them socially, economically and financially. The legislation will be submitted to Parliament for approval before it is enacted under the Indian constitution.
"Through this Bill, the government has evolved a mechanism for their social, economic and educational empowerment. The Bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society," read a government statement.
The new legislation categorically forbids the forcing of trans people from their homes or villages, and bars people from parading them naked or forcing them to beg. It mandates a criminal sentence of up to two years, apart from a monetary penalty.
The legislation also schedules transgender individuals as 'Other Backward Castes', establishing a hiring quota if the individual doesn't already qualify for affirmative action as a member of one of India's Schedule Castes or Schedule Tribes. Now, transgendered people will be an officially-designated minority; India reserves 26% of all government jobs for minorities. It also provides power to transgender children over their parent's assets.
The transgender community is among one of the most marginalized communities in India because of their unconventional sexual identity. Consequently, they face problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, lack of education facilities, unemployment, lacks of medical facilities and so on.
Last year, India's apex court recognized that transgender individuals face discrimination and ordered the government to provide them with job quotas and other entitlements reserved for other marginalized groups within Indian society.