Less than a year after Kerala became the first Indian state to have a Transgender policy covering all the categories of TGs, including male to female TGs and intersex people, the state proved that it is indeed the most progressive in India by introducing a pension policy for transgenders above 60 years of age.
The announcement, that was part of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s first budget, has been lauded by the transgender community of the state that surpasses 25,000 in number.
“The LDF government is committed to protect the rights of all, including those in the transgender community. We will introduce pension for transgenders above 60 years of age,” finance minister TM Isaac said in the assembly to rounds of applause by the legislative members.
The state of Kerala has always been one to promote equality for its residents and has proven it time and again, even by recognising the need to uplift the transgender community where several people have to get involved in professions such as the sex trade for lack of employment opportunities in other fields.
The Transgender policy introduced in 2015 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.
In another step that marked a breakthrough step towards the upliftment of the community, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) authorities also offered jobs to transgender persons in housekeeping, customer care and crowd management sections to free them from the clutches of forced sex work.
Although the amount of pension to be received hasn’t been specified, the announcement still remains a step in the right direction and is one that all other states in India must follow at the earliest.