New Delhi, Nov 20 : Members of all Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha, including the Congress, on Wednesday demanded, in one voice, that the Bill relating to protection of rights of transgenders be referred to a Select Committee of the Upper House .
As soon as Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot moved the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 for the consideration of the House, DMK member Tiruchi Siva moved an amendment to refer the Bill to the Select committee of the Upper Hosue. The resolution was supprted by Rajeev Gowda of the Congress, Derek O Brien of the All India Trinamool Congress, NCP's vandana Chauhan,.Benoy Vishwam of the CPI, Manoj Jha of the RJD and many other opposition members.
Mr Gehlot said in 2017 this Bill was sent to Standing Committee, but it lapsed due to Lok Sabha Elections. Now it has been introduced again.
Initiating the discussion on the crucial Bill, M V Rajeev Gowda of the Congress said,'It is an appropriate day to discuss this Bill as it is International Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is observed to remember those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia.'
The Transgender community continues to face a lot of challenges. It is appropriate to correct these injustices meted out to them.
Mr Gowda said, 'I was present in the House at the time when this Bill was presented in the House as Private Members' Bill and was passed then.' He said National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India is a landmark decision by the Supreme Court, which declared transgender people to be a 'third gender'.
'Today, I would like to expand the definition of Transgender as we have offered a very constructive amendment. Late Arun Jaitley made sure at that time that the whole House support this Bill.' Ramkumar Verma of BJP said from 2013 till date steps have been taken for bringing this Bill.
'A mother stays connected with her child when he is in her womb and when she gives birth to a transgender, both the child and the mother have to face a lot of humiliation due to lack of acceptance by society,' he said.
Mr Verma said once this Bill is passed, it will end humiliation, hurt experienced by transgenders. Shanta Chhetri of AITC, while welcoming the Bill, said the transgenders face discrimination, hate, crime and lack of opportunities in India and conservative countries. She said Bengal was the first state to set a Transgender Development Board.
Ms Chhetri demanded that Bill provide free health treatment in both public and private hospitals. Vijila Sathyananth of AIADMK said the current draft has failed on the Fundamental Right of Right to Self Identity. (UNI)