- Recently, Supreme Court accorded legal status of a third gender to transgender who were hitherto terribly discriminated against by being refused admissions into educational institutions and jobs on the basis of their gender.
- The ruling, although a welcome change, will not change the mindsets of the people overnight, but paves a way for a more humane and accepting society.
- SC further classified them as Other Backward Classes (OBCs) thereby making them eligible for reservation in education and public employments.
- Ambiguity in their sexuality and their refusal to conform to the sex accorded to them by biology is the starting point of this discrimination, as a result of which they are socially ridiculed, abused and ill treated.
- This, combined with poverty, illiteracy and reduced opportunities has made them increasingly vulnerable.
- Criminal and Civil laws themselves had withheld basic rights from them by considering them incapable as acting as guardian, making a gift, drawing up a will or adopting a son. Although these laws now stand nullified, the idea is still prevalent.
- They face continuous exploitation in the 2 works that they carry out, sex work and begging. Although The Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act 1896 has been amended to make it gender neutral, they continue to be exploited and are often arrested on charges of stealing and extortion.
- Read at: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/equal-in-every-way/article5973899.ece