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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Transgenders to get separate toilet at Sangai Festival

Imphal, November 18 2017: Acting on a proposal made by All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association (AMANA) with regard to the difficulties faced by transgender community in accessing toilet at public places, Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur has assured to provide a separate toilet for transgenders in the upcoming Sangai Festival.

" According to a press release issued by Santa Khurai, a trans activist and also a co-founding member of AMANA, the proposal was based on the judgement of the Supreme Court in NALSA versus Union of India on the transgender rights.

The apex Court had directed the State to provide a separate toilet for transgender in educational, health care, public institutions and public places.

In a study conducted by AMANA and Empowering Trans Ability (ETA) in collaboration with Social Science Impact Fund, University of Sussex, it is known that the unacceptability and denial of uses of public toilet by the transgender community has led to the issues of abuse, bullying and ill health condition.

The transgender community also faced bullying, abuses and even sexual assault at public toilet.

This attempted assault and discrimination has made the community feel hesitation to use public toilet which are kept for male and female only.

To answer the nature call, the transgender community often look out for other options like open field, dark corner, isolated places and hovel, it said.

The release said the denial of physical space and sanitation space to the community has led to incidents of harassment and sexual abuse and the community has also been subjected to victimization and inculpation for the crimes that are targeted to the community members.

The issue has been neglected as it was kept concealed by the State and the society.

The stories of abuses and harassment in the public space and public toilets are untold by the society and media.

Similar cases also took place in health care, educational and public institutions etc.

The issues also pose barriers to the transgender community in accessing education, employment opportunities, skill development programs, health care services and socio-economic activities, it pointed out.

To ensure that the community has access to their natural rights, AMANA has intended to initiate a dialogue with the State and the concerned stakeholders to provide a separate toilet for transgenders in various private and Government institutions, it continued.

The proposal was put forward to the Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur on November 15.The same proposal was copied to the Secretary, Public Health and Engineering Department along with the support letter from Zilla Swach Bharat Prerak (SBM-Gramin) Imphal West.

As an initial step, the availability of separate toilet for the transgender community in the Sangai Festival will create an awareness on the difficulties and ultimate consequences faced by the community members due to the non-availability of separate toilets.

The assurance of Department of Tourism will set an example in future for designing policy, inclusion in the organisational policies and laid the groundwork for the movement of rights and welfare of the transgender community, the release added.

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