Church’s helping hand to transgender community
Kochi: Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church has decided to roll out a slew of measures to help transgender community including providing free seats in the schools and colleges run by it. In the long run, the Church would explore all possibilities to help the transgender people including offering them financial support for conducting sex change surgery.
The church has come up with these initiatives as part of the hundredth birthday celebrations of Metropolitan Mar Chrysostom, The Times of India reported.
“We will start by conducting awareness programmes for our laity. Then, we will be providing shelters, vocational training, and counselling for transgender people. The focus would be on rescuing adolescents,” said Bishop Gee Varghese Mar Theodosius, head of Mumbai diocese of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church. “All our endeavours in this regard can be a success only if
the government also supports us,” he said.
The Church will be organizing awareness programmes for laity in Kochi, Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram and the first event will be held in Kochi on July 22.
“The first shelter would be coming up in Pathanamthitta. Then, we will be rolling out such shelters in cities like Kochi. But, all such activities require the support from the government who should grant a licence for such shelters. The government should also make amendments in the labour law, making it illegal the denial or termination from the job just because a person is a transgender,” said the Bishop.
“Change should begin at the family. One should accept the fact that transgender people are also human beings born to mothers and fathers. So, they also should be recognized as our siblings,” he said. He has been working for the welfare of the transgender community in Mumbai for the past two years.
Mar Thoma School of Management Studies, Edachra, Kakkanad, near Kochi is all set to provide scholarships for members of the transgender community for pursuing MBA course. They have already contacted organizations and leaders of transgender movements for identifying candidates.
“As per requests from the college management, we are on the lookout for qualified candidates. As of now, we could identify only two. We will get back to the college management soon,” said Vijayaraja Mallika, a transgender and founder of Sahaj Internal, an alternative learning centre for transgender
According to Mallika, programmes for creating awareness among the common people on transgender people and their needs have already been started under the aegis of Sahaj. “We organized classes for law students, women and youths.
It is the Church and a section of Hindu community which provided support for our endevours,” Mallika said responding to the initiative of Mar Thoma Church.