Telangana's 'Pride Place' where trans people's concerns will be heard

The cell will be a safe space for people belonging to the transgender community to report their concerns. It will work to ensure the safety and security of transgenders by ending violence against them.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  12 April 2022 12:24 PM GMT
Telanganas Pride Place where trans peoples concerns will be heard

Hyderabad: 'Pride Place', a protection cell for transgender (LGBTQIA+) persons, was inaugurated at the Telangana women's safety wing office in Lakdikapool on 12 April. The initiative was jointly set up by the TS police women's safety wing (WSW) and Bharosa.

The cell will be a safe space exclusively for people belonging to the transgender community where they can report their concerns. It will work to ensure the safety and security of transgenders by ending violence against them in society. It will comprise a team headed by a police inspector, three sub-inspectors, and constable officers along with other stakeholders.

The protection cell will work on the prevention of crimes, monitor offences against transgender persons, and ensure timely registration, investigation, and prosecution of such offenders. Further, it will create awareness about the rights of trans people among the public and sensitise all stakeholders in the proper implementation of transgender laws in the state. A transgender person has also been appointed as a coordinator to work along with inspector-level police officers from WSW, a legal expert, and support staff.

The protection cell will function under the additional director-general of police, women safety, Swati Lakra, and is formed according to the guidelines issued by the Central ministry of Home Affairs (Advisory on Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020) which states that "every state government shall set up a Transgender Protection Cell under the director-general of police in the state to monitor cases of offences against transgender persons."

Dr. M. Mahendar Reddy, Telangana DGP, released a logo of the Pride Place and a booklet containing the details of the standard operating procedures of the cell. Speaking on the occasion, he said, "The cell will act as a one-stop solution for trans people in the state by offering police and other services through networking and collaboration with other stakeholders." He also appreciated the initiative and said that this cell will be historical and will go a long way in ensuring justice for the members of the transgender community.

Swati Lakra reiterated that this cell is an effort to ensure that trans people are treated with dignity and are able to live with respect.

Mamta Raghuveer from NGO Taruni said the cell is expected to be a place where transgender people can come and report their issues. Highlighting the various issues faced by the community, she said, "Even today, society is unaware of the community. Also, people facing violence do not report it, fearing discrimination. Police don't understand the specific concerns of trans people. We need to educate people about the community and learn to respectfully deal with their concerns."

She also added that this is only a small step and urged to launch more training programmes for police personnel.

Transgender activist Vyjayanthi Mogli said, "It's a long-overdue initiative and is just a baby step in the implementation of Justice Rohinton Nariman's judgement in Navtej Singh & Ors vs Union of India. But it is better late than never."

However, she also said that we need to wait to see the results. "A similar initiative launched in February-March 2011 to set up of a transgender helpdesk at the Gachibowli police station under the Cyberabad police commissionerate did not yield any significant results. On the contrary, the transgender helpdesk ended up doing some very transphobic acts of commission and omission that were enormously disappointing for the transgender and LGBTIQ++ communities. So, while the intent may be good, time alone shall reveal the truth. As the adage goes, 'Proof of the pudding lies in the eating'," she said.

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