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The Transgender Persons Bill 2016: Cabinet approves bill for empowerment of transgenders

Through the bill, the government has evolved a mechanism for the social, economic and educational empowerment of Transgenders

Transgenders rejoicing. Image Source :

New Delhi: The Union cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, July 19, approved The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016.

“Through this bill, the government has evolved a mechanism for their social, economic and educational empowerment,” an official announcement said, adding the bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against “this marginalised section”.

The new law will help bring the community into the mainstream of society.

“It will lead to greater inclusiveness and make the transgender people productive members of the society,” the official release said.

The release further said the transgender community is among “one of the most marginalised communities in the country” because they do not fit into the stereotypical categories of the gender of ‘men’ or ‘women’.

“Consequently, they face problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, lack of education facilities, unemployment, lack of medical facilities and so on,” it said.

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The bill will make all the stakeholders responsive and accountable for upholding the principles underlying the proposed new law and it will bring “greater accountability” on the part of the central government and state governments and union territories administrations for issues concerning transgender persons, the release said.

According to sources, in the run up to the drafting of the bill, there have been issues at times even between the law ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

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 Among other things, sources said, matters relating to forcing a transgender to leave a village or residence or forcibly inciting them to beg or do similar forms of bonded labour were also discussed at length.

There is also a portion of the bill which deals with “offences”, that may be treated as atrocity and violence against transgenders. (IANS)


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  • Akanksha Sharma

    Now we are heading towards a time where everyone is treated equally.

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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

Also Read: With Medicine Running Out, Venezuelans With Transplant Live in Fear

According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS