Image: Northeast Now

The LGBT community in Assam’s Lakhimpur district is hit hard by the impact of nation-wide COVID-19 lockdown.

The victims are four transgender persons in the district who are facing starvation due to loss of their income caused by the ongoing lockdown.

The four persons staying in a rented house at Kaivarttagaon in 14th Mile under Bogeenadi Police Station of Lakhimpur district have been out of income since the imposition of the lockdown due to coronavirus in March.

The quartet used the trains that run between Bogeendai and Murkongchelek and up to Tinsukia to earn money from passengers by begging.

But their income earned daily has been disrupted ever since the trains stopped running due to lockdown.

Unable to earn from their usual ways, these four transgender persons are now working as domestic help in some households becoming vulnerable to abuse and discrimination in the society.

It may be mentioned that the LGBT community worldwide has been facing unprecedented problems ever since the outbreak of COVID-19 in various countries.

According to United Nations Human Rights, LGBT people are less able to protect themselves through physical distancing and safe hygiene practices, increasing their exposure to contagion.

LGBT people regularly experience stigma and discrimination while seeking health services, leading to disparities in access, quality and availability of healthcare.

As the world combats as one against COVID-19, these people are laying ghettoed and ignored.

However, there is no separate mention of transgenders as beneficiaries in the financial aides extended by the State Government during lockdown.

The Supreme Court of India in its landmark verdict in April 15, 2015 while recognizing the transgender community as third sex asked the Centre and state governments to treat transgender persons as socially and educationally backward class and extend OBC reservation to them in admission to educational institutions and public appointments besides to take measures to provide medical care to them.

Of late the four transgender persons from 14th Mile, Bogeenadi in Lakhimpur district have received some relief materials from various sources.

The district administration and police have provided rations to the four persons to meet their needs.

Farhana Ahmed

Farhana Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in North Lakhimpur. She can be reached at: farhana.ahmed777@gmail.com