Transgender Day celebrated in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Voluntary organizations working for welfare of the transgender community in the State came forward to celebrate ‘Transgender Day’ here today, commemorating their recognition as ‘third gender’ by the Supreme Court recently.

Panchayat Raj and Law minister Arun Kumar Sahu, social activist Meera and members of transgender community from across the State were present in the ceremony.

Meera, a transgender, rued, “Though the Supreme Court has directed all the States to construct welfare boards for our community, nothing has been done in Odisha so far. In West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee government has formed the board, but nothing has been done yet.”

“Today, we are forwarding a letter to the Chief Minister mentioning our demands and expecting that our part will be heard,” Meera said, adding that the demands included special educational facilities like reservation, special health scheme, BPL card, etc.

Sahu claimed that his government has always been in support of the welfare of the third gender and would do its part in future too. “We always encourage the development of every section of the society. I believe nothing is impossible and every human being has the power to prove himself or herself. I urge all the people of this community to come forward and show their talent,” he said.

After the session, the members of the community organized a cultural show, followed by a ramp show. Laced up with beauty and boldness, the members of the community walked the ramp with placards which had messages to their parents, neighbours and the society for their acceptance for who they are. The message was loud and clear: ‘Acceptance’ and ‘Dignity’.

Earlier in the day, one of the organizations staged a demonstration in Master Canteen area demanding formation of the welfare board and initiating welfare schemes for the community.