Transgender persons in Jharkhand have been included in the Other Backward Classes category to ensure that they can avail reservation in government jobs, the state Cabinet said on Wednesday, reported The New Indian Express.
Members of the community will also be given Rs 1,000 per month as pension under the State Social Security Scheme.
Cabinet Secretary Vandana Dadel clarified that only transgender persons belonging to unreserved categories will be included under the OBC category as per the decision taken on Wednesday, reported The Times of India.
“However, this is not for [members of the transgender community] who already belong to communities from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBC and extremely backward communities,” Dadel added.
Data from the Department of Women, Child Development and Social Security shows that there were around 11,900 transgender persons in Jharkhand in 2011, according to The New Indian Express. Their current population is estimated to be nearly 14,000.
In a landmark judgement in 2014, the Supreme Court had granted transgender persons the status of the third gender. It had then directed the Centre and state governments to take steps to extend reservations to the community.
Seven years later in 2021, the Centre moved a Cabinet note for including transgender persons in the OBC list. The government’s proposal had led to criticism from some transgender rights activists, reported The News Minute.
Grace Banu, a prominent transgender rights activist, said that only transgenders persons from upper castes were hailing the decision while members of the Dalit/Bahujan/Adivasi communities were “disappointed by this note”.
“While upper caste trans persons fight for cultural rights, DBA [Dalit/Bahujan/Adivasi] transpersons fight for survival and employment,” she had told The News Minute. “That’s how different the dynamics within the community are.”
The Centre’s proposal, however, did not move forward as the government did not seek parliamentary approval for it, according to The Times of India.