The Assam government has set up a six-member transgender welfare board comprising members from the state’s transgender community.
Assam is the seventh state in the country to have such a welfare board, said the All Assam Transgender Association (AATA).
The Assam government in February this year approved a draft policy for the welfare of the state’s transgender community.
The board will now seek to end discrimination in the employment sector, end sexual harassment faced by members of the transgender community almost on a daily basis, and other issues that make the community vulnerable.
The welfare board will have quasi-judicial powers with the power to issue summons,
The state, with its own transgender welfare board, will make efforts for the upliftment of the community, by providing reservation in educational institutions, medical facilities, empowerment, and fight discrimination, among others.
Swati Bidhan Baruah, a transgender activist, has been nominated as the associate vice-chairperson of the board.
Baruah said that after years of fighting and grassroots activism undertaken by her and her fellow transgender activists, the establishment of a transgender welfare board was a step in the right direction.
“The members who have been incorporated in the transgender welfare board are all grassroot activists who have been taking up the community’s cause for some years as of now,” The Wire quoted Baruah as saying.