Srinagar: Only eight transgenders in Jammu and Kashmir received financial assistance from the centre and none among the community received ration as part of the ‘special arrangement’ of the central Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment during the Covid lockdown last year.
Lack of awareness about the scheme among the transgenders of J&K was the main reason behind the low response in the union territory.
As per the data tabled in the ongoing Lok Sabha session, eight transgenders received Rs 12000 (Rs.1500 each) during the lockdown. Moreover, nobody from the community was able to receive ration under the scheme.
In Tamil Nadu, the maximum number of transgenders (1036) received Rs.1500 each followed by West Bengal and Chattisgarh at 814 and 624 souls respectively.
Founder of the Sonzal Welfare Trust and LGBTQ activist Aijaz Ahmad Bund said they came to know about the scheme at the last moment.
“During the lockdown, transgender activists had approached the central government and convinced them to provide some relief to the transgender community. However, we came to know about the scheme at the last moment. And there was a process of filling up of forms due to which many could not take benefits,” Bund told The Kashmir Monitor.
As per the 2011 census, there were 4137 transgenders in Jammu and Kashmir but the latest figures are not available.
Bund said though the High Court had ordered a fresh census of transgenders (in 2018), the Social Welfare Department did not follow the same.