Odisha govt to include transgenders under NFSA

Bhubaneswar: Acting on a directive of Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC), the State government on Monday decided to cover the transgender community under National Food Security Act (NFSA).

As many as 14,000 ration cards under NFSA will be distributed to the transgender community in the State, Food Supplies department informed OHRC.

It’s worthwhile to mention here that in a landmark order, OHRC acting Chairperson Justice B.K. Mishra on August 3 had directed the State Government to include the transgenders in NFSA and to extend same benefits to them.

Besides, the Commission had also asked the Chief Secretary G.C. Pati and secretaries of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare and Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities departments to submit their action taken report (ATR) within six weeks.

The direction of the Commission came in response to a petition filed by Biswapriya Kanungo who alleged that transgenders are certain to be deprived of the NFSA as the State Government is still to meet the terms with the Supreme Court order of recognising them as the third gender.

Expressing pleasure over the decision to include the eunuchs under NFSA, Mira Parida, a transgender said, “The transgender community will be greately benefited. I would like to thank Biswapriya Kanungo who filed a PIL in OHRC to cover the transgender community under NFSA.”

“This is a good initiative by the government but let’s see how quickly such decision will be implemented,” Mira added.