Sunday, April 18

Centre launches portal for transgender persons

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The ministry of social justice and empowerment on Wednesday launched a portal that will allow transgender persons to apply online for certification of their self-perceived gender identity.

Launched by Union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot, the portal will allow transgender persons to upload an affidavit declaring their gender identity, which will then become the basis for their identity certificates to be issued by the district magistrate.

One is expected to get an identity card within 30 days of the district authorities reviewing the application. Following the passage of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019, the law allows for self-perceived identification by an applicant for an identity certificate.

Transgender persons who have already recorded a change in gender identity, prior to the enactment of the law, will not need to apply for a certificate of identity under the rules notified on September 25.

The portal will also enable them to register their grievances and help build a database of the community.

Commenting on the move, Bittu Karthik, an associate professor at the Ashoka University, said, “I am glad online services enabling trans persons to get identity certificates have begun. It is unfortunate that it rolls back non-medicalised self-identification granted by NALSA, and that once one is declared as transgender, one becomes a citizen governed by discriminatory criminal and civil laws.”

The ministry will also open shelter homes for trans people in each state. The first such home was inaugurated in Gujarat today and will offer shelter and skill training to those in need.