Guwahati: A crusader of transgender rights has asked the Gauhati High Court to direct the Assam government to secure the community’s rights and welfare.
Assam in northeastern India has of more than 20,000 transgender people, says Swati Bidhan Baruah, who approached the court March end.
The plight of transgender in every sphere of Indian society has been a deplorable one. Although they have occupied an important role in Indian history, in the modern era, they have a tough time fighting even for their basic rights, Baruah told The Northeast Today.
“The Assam government has shown a clear ignorance toward the rights of transgenders. As per article 141 of the Indian Constitution, it is clearly mentioned that the judgment passed by the honorable apex court is binding upon all the lower courts and higher courts and the Gauhati HC must also obey it”.
She also mentioned that the government that came into power with the hitting headline of ‘sabka saath, sabka Vikaas’ does not include transgender community in their connotation of ‘Sab’.
She also raised a question on the working of the state government given the fact that although the central government claims to have worked for the betterment and upliftment of the transgender community, and even if the funds did arrive for them into the welfare department, did they even reach their target group, given the fact that the plight of transgenders in Assam was a pitiable one.
An indepth analysis into this question could raise the cover from a huge scam, if at all, the funds arrived.
In response to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by Baruah, the Gauhati high court has issued notices to both Centre and state government to file their respective replies before the court within four weeks.
Bidhan also went on to rue over the fact that there was very less, or in fact no support at all coming in from the straight youth of the state. She added, ” Everyone is very sensitive about the issues relating to the harassment of women, or crime against men and women but when it come to issues relating to the transgender community, no body want to come forward to support their cause”.
Bishesh Huirem, a transgender activist, actor and model from Manipur, who represented India at the Miss International Queen contest held in Thailand this year, said, “Despite the whole world having recognized the rights of transgender people, our society is yet to accept us.”
Swati Bidhan Baruah is the founder of All Assam Transgender Association which was founded in 2015. It is a collective forum with almost 7000 members across the state. The organzation can be reached at All Assam Transgender Association.