Bengaluru Becomes the First City to Get Transgender Children's Homes
There is a great news for the transgender community. Bengaluru has become the first city to receive a green signal to establish two government-run shelter homes reserved for transgender children. It would be a safe shelter for kids who need care and protection. It has not been long since the transgender rights were legally recognized, and despite that fact the community still faces a lot of issues in current times. And this extends to transgender kids as well!
Since, this was a new concept for India, the ideation faced many roadblocks. The initial Project Approval Board (PAB) was filed in the month of May 2020, which was not approved. There was a resubmission of the proposal in the supplementary PAB held on October 15, 2020, which got through. The Ministry of Women and Child Development gave a green signal to the project in the last week. Details from the supplementary PAB state that two such government-run facilities would be established in Bengaluru Urban. These homes shall be reserved only for the transgender children in need of care and protection, which would include slum dwellers, orphans, abandoned children, street children and child victims of abuse.
Each of these houses will be a home for 50 children. These abodes will help give the attention that these children need from a young age.
Antony Sebastian, Chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights showed the support by stating, "They will not fit in the homes for boys or girls. Establishing a separate home and giving them the attention and care at a young age will help address some of their concerns."
Members of the transgender community have also come forward to appreciate the decision.
The one person who solely owned this idea and was a part of the process from day one was Indian Administrative Service officer Pallavi Akurathi, Director, Directorate of Child Protection. It came out as a part of her research that transgender children living in govt-run homes for girls/boys felt uncomfortable and that is when she took the matter in her hands.
Pallavi mentioned in an interview that, "My field level staff informed me that in many instances when transgender children who are in need of care and protection are produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), they are not able to place these children in the existing children's homes for boys and girls. CWCs avoid placing these children in the existing children's homes. I spoke to several people from the transgender community who spoke about the violence and abuse they faced as transgenders and decided that it is best that a separate home is established exclusively for such a vulnerable section of children."
Pallavi Shivappa Jakali, a Belgaum-based transgender while sharing her support with the news said, “I grew up in a boys’ home and was constantly bullied by other boys. Because of this, I would always dress as a man and hide my identity.”
The community has been fighting the battle of its own since centuries and it is about time that the legal status given to them be supported by such measures taken by the State as well as Central Government.