Implement the NALSA judgment immediately!
Sunday, 5 July 2015, Hyderabad: A hundred and fifty hijras, transgenders and supporters gathered at Dharna Chowk, Indira Park today to demand jobs for the community and the implementation of the NALSA vs. UOI judgment of the Supreme Court of India. They raised slogans of ‘Udhyogam kavali’, ‘Illu kavali’, ‘Upadhi kavali’, ‘Rakshana Kavali’ – referring to their struggles to find jobs, housing, welfare and security in a society that discriminates against them in every way. Hijras with B.Ed., M.Com., M.B.A. and B.C.A degrees spoke of how they were denied jobs repeatedly despite all these qualifications, due to the stigma they face due to their genders.
Mary Madiga of Telangana Mahajana Mahila Samakhya addressed the crowd and said that she has always supported the transgender community and that she has received love and support in return; she felt that the world does not know the transgender community as human beings. She composed and sang a beautiful song for the hijra community and urged the hijra community to learn from the dalit movement’s struggle for reservations. Joopaka Subadra of Matti Poolu said that every human being has the right to live a full life, so why are transgenders systematically facing discrimination? They are being discriminated at the stage of education itself, and then at the level of accessing jobs, housing, and welfare – so how are they supposed to live in society without the help of the government? Krupakar Madiga of Madiga Mahashakti pointed out that transgender people are being misused everywhere. Even media uses them, making fun of them. This discrimination is a human rights issue and we should struggle in the same way as dalit activists historically have to change the way society treats them; as well as change their material conditions of deprivation by awarding them land.
Veda Kumar of Telangana Resource Center expressed a strong solidarity with the transgender community and said the state has to take the lead in supporting them, because when transgender people are kicked out from the family, who else would educate and support them? Ravichandra of Virasam said since so many years there has been historical violence against transgenders; still no one has taken up this issue because of the minority status of the community. He said that the Tamil Nadu government’s steps towards transgender empowerment should be implemented here in Telangana. Satyavati Kondaveeti said that the Bhumika helpline gets lots of calls come from transgender people looking for help. They face severe trouble from their families and so they need societal support. Sajaya Kakarla spoke about how the community will need to struggle for their rights, and how at every step of the way she will support the community. Sogara Begum of voiced her strong support of the transgender community as well.
Transgender activist Chandramukhi anchored the program and stated clearly that these rights are needed for transgender people to survive. Every human has a right to live and transgender people need the NALSA judgment to be implemented in Telangana without which they are facing daily violence, especially hijras. Transgender man Santosh spoke of the struggles of transgender men, who live very different lives from their hijra sisters, facing a very different kind of discrimination and harassment from society. He stressed on the need for all kinds of transgender people coming together to fight a unified struggle.
The Telangana Hijra Intersex and Transgender Samiti (THITS) thanks all its supporters and the media for their strong presence at the meeting.