Panel for Grant of Third Gender Status to Transgenders Formed

New Delhi

The government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to pursue implementation of the recommendations of an Expert Committee, seeking "third gender" status for transgenders, Lok Sabha was informed today.

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Sudarshan Bhagat, in a written in Lok Sabha said the key recommendation of the Committee formed by the government was that the transgender should be declared as third gender.

He said the other recommendations include access to health-care, educational opportunities at all levels without stigma and discrimination, formulation of umbrella schemes and others.

The Supreme Court in its judgment had directed the Centre and state governments to take steps for framing various social welfare schemes for betterment of transgender persons, take proper measures to provide medical care, hospital and others.

"The expert committee has recommended a state level authority duly designated or constituted by the respective states/UTs on the lines of Tamil Nadu Transgender Welfare Board.

"An Inter-Ministerial committee has been constituted to pursue implementation of Expert Committee's recommendations," Bhagat said.

The minister said the Court has further directed to examine the recommendations of the Expert Committee based on legal declaration made in its judgement and implement them.

Replying to another question, he said, "Keeping in view the socio-cultural-economic and technological developments in the last decade, the National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP), 1999 is being revised by the department of Social Justice and Empowerment to include promotion of measures to create avenues for continuity in employment or post retirement opportunities for senior citizens".

Bhagat said the NPOP, 1999 recognises that 60 plus phase of life is a huge untapped resource and proposes that facilities be provided to senior citizens so that their potential is utilised.

To carry forward the spirit of the policy, various programmes like computer training for senior citizens, school programme for inter-generational bonding are being carried out.

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