The state of Uttar Pradesh is likely to conduct the first ever transgender census in the country. The Social Welfare Ministry of Uttar Pradesh has proposed the idea amid other welfare schemes for the marginalised communities in the state.
The people of Uttar Pradesh voted Yogi Adityanath back to power as the chief minister of state in the Assembly elections that were held ins even phases through February and the result of which was declared on 10 March.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had on 18 April urged his cabinet ministers to carry forward with welfare measures of the transgender community of the state. The Transgender Welfare Board was formed in 2021 in Uttar Pradesh under then Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The social welfare ministry in Uttar Pradesh has proposed a budget of ₹200 crore for the welfare of transgender people by means of providing them education facilities, developing their colonies with basic amenities and rehabilitating elderly members of the community, people aware of the situation said.
An estimated 20 lakh transgenders live across the state, with most of them having limited means of education and survival. The date for beginning the census will be decided after the government’s go-ahead.
However, the first meeting of the Transgender Welfare board took place only on 19 April which was chaired by Social Welfare Minister Asim Arun. Board’s vice president Sonam Chishti and members Tina Maa, Kiran Baba, Madhu and Dr Satya Prakash Singh attended the meeting in Lucknow.
“A budget of ₹200 crore has been proposed for welfare and development of the transgender community in Uttar Pradesh, out of which around ₹25 crore would be dedicated only for the education of youngsters of the community,” a ministry source told new agency PTI.
“A census would be done to identify transgender people in the state and register them with unique identification cards so that they can avail benefits of government schemes. This would be done across 75 districts of UP and a database would be prepared, which would also be shared with the central government,” the source said.
The ministry is also in the process of writing to other state departments concerned for expediting development works like proper roads, water and electricity connections, etc in colonies where the community members live.
It has also proposed setting up ‘Garima Grah’ (Dignity Home) in cities on lines of old-age homes for the elderly transgender people to help them lead a comfortable and dignified life, the source said.
After the Transgender Welfare Board’s meeting, the ministry is understood to have presented the proposals to the state government during a review by the chief minister last week, they said.