New Delhi: Considering the current Covid-19 situation in the country compelling the transgender community into extreme distress and acute shortage of basic needs like food and health, the Central government has announced to provide Rs 1,500 to each transgender person.
The ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, being the nodal ministry for transgender welfare, has decided to provide a subsistence allowance of Rs 1,500 to each transgender person as immediate support to meet their basic requirements.
This financial assistance will help the transgender community to meet their day-to-day needs, said the ministry.
NGOs and Community-based Organisations (CBOs) working for Transgender Persons have been asked to spread awareness about this step.
Any transgender person or CBOs on behalf of the transgender person can apply for financial assistance after providing basic details, Aadhar, and Bank account number in a form https://forms.gle/H3BcREPCy3nG6TpH7.
This form is available on the web site of the National Institute of Social Defence, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
To ensure that the information about this reaches a maximum number of transgender persons, this form is also being circulated on social media with the help of NGOs and CBOs.
The ministry provided similar financial assistance and ration kits to transgender persons during the lockdown last year too. "A total amount of 98.50 lakh rupees was incurred which benefitted nearly 7,000 Transgender persons across the country."
As people facing mental health problems do not feel comfortable about seeking help due to the stigma around it, a free helpline for distressed transgender persons owing to the current pandemic for psychological support and mental health care has also been announced by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
"Any transgender person can connect with experts on the helpline number 8882133897. This helpline will be functional from Monday to Saturday between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. On this helpline, counselling services will be provided by professional psychologists."
A letter has also been written by the Ministry to the Principal Secretaries of all states to ensure that there is no discrimination against transgender persons in existing Covid and vaccination centres.
They have also been requested to conduct awareness drives especially reaching out to the transgender community in different vernaculars to ensure they are informed and aware of the vaccination process.
A request has also been made to the states to organise separate mobile vaccination centers or booths for vaccination of transgender persons such as those taken up in the states of Haryana and Assam.