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For India’s Third Gender, getting a shelter Home is an Uphill Battle

In 2014, the Supreme Court had ordered that transgenders be treated as the third gender and be given reservations on the lines of those for OBCs

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(Representational Image) Transgender, India. Image source: Sami Siva / Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
  • Kinnar Maa Samajik Sanstha Trust had requested for a separate ashram for the transgenders in Mumbai
  • The Delhi High Court had struck down Section 377 in 2009 but the Supreme Court reversed this in 2013
  • In 2014, the Supreme Court had ordered that transgenders be treated as the third gender

New Delhi– They are ostracised, humiliated and sneered at, and yet India’s transgender community continues to battle for their rights amid all opposition. Fida, a member of India’s first transgender group — 6 Pack Band – says the community in the Mumbai region aspires for an ashram of its own, but they have yet not been able to get the land for it.

According to Fida, an organisation called the Kinnar Maa Samajik Sanstha Trust had requested for a separate ashram for the transgenders in Mumbai, but they are yet to get the work done.

There are a lot of handicapped kinnars (transgenders) who are either homeless, or who have faced acid attacks. Some of them have sustained injuries after being thrown from trains while begging. There are old age ashrams, but there is nothing for the transgenders, she added.

Street protest by LGBT community. Image source: thegayfacts.com
Street protest by LGBT community. Image source: thegayfacts.com

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) criminalises homosexuality and activists of the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community have been fighting a legal battle asking for the law to be revoked on grounds that it violates their human rights.

The Delhi High Court had struck down Section 377 in 2009 but the Supreme Court reversed this in 2013. It heard the matter again earlier this year but stood by its previous judgement.

Thereafter, a group of celebrities, including celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia, approached the apex court to quash the penal provision. The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to examine the fresh petition, saying it will be placed before Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur.

India LGBT Participants pose during "Queer Azadi Mumbai 2009" (Queer Freedom Mumbai 2009), a parade for gay and lesbian rights, in Mumbai August 16, 2009.REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe
India LGBT
Participants pose during “Queer Azadi Mumbai 2009” (Queer Freedom Mumbai 2009), a parade for gay and lesbian rights, in Mumbai August 16, 2009. Image source: REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe

In 2014, the Supreme Court had ordered that transgenders be treated as the third gender and be given reservations on the lines of those for OBCs (other backward classes).

Last November, in 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for treating transgenders with greater sensitivity. We need to amend and make new laws for transgenders, he had said.

Like several others fighting for their rights, Fida said that the trust has been battling for the last five to six years to get permission for the ashram but owing to political issues, they are yet to get this.

We have been fighting to get this ashram for the last five to six years. We have asked for an ashram in Thane, Fida told IANS on the phone from Mumbai.

Fida has now gained fame with 6 Pack Band, which won the coveted Cannes Grand Prix Glass Lion at the Cannes Lions Festival. It was given to the group for espousing a social cause. Backed by Yash Raj Films’ youth-wing Y-Films, the group has even worked with industry stalwarts like Sonu Nigam and Hrithik Roshan, who have given them support.

Fida says that she wants to use this platform to help her community.

Now people know our six-member band, but who knows the thousands of people in our community? Who will be our voice? I want to take the opportunity to play in the band to express the desires of our community in front of the public, she said.

Due to the lack of an ashram, Fida rued that the already marginalised transgender community of India is forced to beg on the streets or work at bars.

Those who are rotting on the street are still suffering, those who are working in beer bars are still stuck there. We have been ignored. We will die on the streets. The government is not giving attention to us, she said.

In 2015, the Kinnar Maa Samajik Sanstha Trust had organised a Pink Rally to demand equal rights for the transgender community in India. Fida said that despite such rallies and the support they garner, India’s transgenders are yet to find firm footing in society.

Nobody helped us. We organised the Pink Rally, but after some hulabulloo everything quietened down. Nobody does anything, she lamented.

The ostracism for transgenders in the country is so heightened, says Fida, that members of the community even find it difficult to live in rented houses.

Wherever we stay at rent, the people say, ‘Why have you kept this hijra?’ Then where do we go? That is why we need the ashram so that we can live respectfully with our own community, she noted. (IANS)

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    A separate ashram could isolate them from the community in which they are living. Instead giving them homes where everybody else lives is a better idea

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itel Releases “Vision 1”, Big Battery Phone at Rs 5,499

itel Vision 1, India's 1st waterdrop smartphone

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itel
itel launched a category disruptor called "Vision 1" with HD+ IPS waterdrop display and big battery at Rs 5,499 in India. Wikimedia Commons

itel, the leading smartphone brand from Transsion India on Monday launched a category disruptor called “Vision 1” with HD+ IPS waterdrop display and big battery at Rs 5,499 in India.

The Vision 1 comes packed with free itel Bluetooth wireless headset worth Rs 799 from its recently launched accessories portfolio and also an instant cashback offer of Rs 2,200+25GB additional data from Reliance Jio, all together at Rs 5,499, the company said.

Other features of the phone include 15.46cm (6.088-inch) HD+ IPS waterdrop with incell technology and 2.5D curved fully laminated display and 4000mAh high capacity battery, among others. The phone comes with 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage expandable up to 128GB.

The phone brings the power of enhanced Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered dual camera, dual security features includingmultifunctional fingerprint sensor and face unlock, dual active 4G VoLTE and VoWifi support.

itel
Features of the itel phone include 15.46cm (6.088-inch) HD+ IPS waterdrop with incell technology and 2.5D curved fully laminated display and 4000mAh high capacity battery, among others. (Representational Image). Pixabay

“Since the brand launch in India in 2016, itel has come a long way and has established itself as the leader in less than 5K segment as per Q3 and Q4 Counterpoint Reports of 2019. This remarkable success in a short span is a testimony of itel’s magical product portfolio, that is based on the needs and demands of customers, backed by extensive market research,” Arijeet Talapatra, CEO, Transsion Holdings India, said in a statement.

Featuring a sleek 8.5 mm design, itel Vision 1 is topped with 500 nits brighter screen for higher transmittance that provides an extra glow to the outdoor viewing experience. It is further adorned with 19:5:9 aspect ratio and 1560×720 resolution for immersive and cinematic video viewing.

itel said Vision 1 provides with 820 hours standby, 24 hours’ average usage, 45 hours of playing music, 8 hours of playing video and 7 hours of gaming. The smartphone comes equipped with 8MP + 0.08MP AI dual rear camera with flashlight, configured in a unique camera deco design, adding to the premium look and feel.

The camera has AI beauty mode, portrait mode, HDR, that helps in smart recognition, automatic adjustments of the camera effects, capturing sharper objects with greater details.

Also Read- Simple Blood Test May Help Improve Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer: Study

The front 5MP selfie camera with AI beauty mode houses flashlight to ensure bright and clear selfie, even in low-light areas. Running on the latest Android Pie 9 OS, Vision 1 is powered with 1.6GHz octa-core processor for seamless multitasking functionality. (IANS)