Malkangiri: In a bid to empower the third gender and bring them to the mainstream, the Malkangiri district administration engaged five members of transgender community as security guards at the district headquarters hospital, a report said.
Durga, Sonali, Tushar, Kailash and Hial are the five transgender who got appointments as security guards at the female, gynaecology and paediatrics wards of the hospital.
It was noted that a private security company has taken the security tender of the hospital. And the company has given appointment to the transgenders as per the instruction of the district administration.
They will be paid a monthly remuneration of Rs 6000 to Rs 7000 with insurance and other facilities.
People belonging to the transgender community always face a raw deal in society. Most of them are in very bad condition because of social exclusion, making it difficult for them to get employment.
There are no official figures, but activists say there are hundreds of transgenders in the state, many of whom face ostracism and discrimination, as well as verbal, physical and sexual abuse.
Lack of access to education and employment opportunities has meant many male-to-female transgender people – also known as “hijras” – end up being forced into sex work or moving around in organised groups begging or demanding money.
In a landmark judgment in April 2014, the Supreme Court recognised transgender as a legal third gender and called on the government to ensure equal treatment to them.
The court recognised the community as a marginalised group and directed authorities to implement policies to improve their socio-economic status.
Members of the transgender community will be given Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards that will allow them to access benefits under various government welfare programmes such as free housing, 100 days of paid work annually, pensions and loans to start up their own businesses. They would also be entitled to 5 kg of food grains every month under the National Food Security Act.
Intellectuals and transgender community in the district welcomed this initiative of the district administration.
When Senior Surgery Specialist Dr Sapan Kumar Dinda was asked about the performance of the five security guards, he said from the starting day of their work till now they have never neglected their duties. They are discharging their duties efficiently, added Dinda.