Bhubaneswar: The state government Thursday included the transgender community under Madhu Babu Pension Yojana (MBPY) and released a notification in this regard.
As per the notification issued by the Social Securities and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) department, the government made amendments to Rule 6 (eligibility criteria) of the Madhu Babu Pension Rules 2008.
The department has included a new criterion to include transgender as one of the eligible categories.
According to the notification, the beneficiaries should have a certificate issued under Section 6 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019. It also mandated that the income of the beneficiary must not exceed Rs 40,000 per annum and should not have a member paying income tax or is a government servant.
“This was one of the progressive policies of the government. Eligible candidates from the community can avail the facilities from the government on fulfilling all the prescribed criteria,” SSEPD department secretary Bhaskar Jyoti Sarma told Orissa POST.
Transgender advocacy groups have welcomed the step. “We welcome the step of the government to assist the community. However, the disbursement of pensions to them could be delayed as the rules of Transgender Act, 2019 are yet to be formulated and ID cards are yet to be issued to them. This will take time,” said Biswa Bhushan Pattanayak, assistant director, SAATHI, Bhubaneswar.
He also requested the government to include Section 7 of the Transgender Act to also include such transgender who undergo sex-change operation.
The community members meanwhile welcomed the step. “This step shows that the government is now recognising the community. This is likely to reduce discrimination in society and expedite our social acceptance,” said Meera Parida, a transgender rights activist from the state.