Transgenders aren’t convinced quota in police will help them

Bengaluru Education Governance Karnataka LGBTQAI+

State govt hasn’t defined ‘male third gender’

People of the transgender community aren’t convinced that reservation in the police force will improve their lot.

In September 2022, Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra announced that 79 posts would be reserved for the “male third gender” in the force.Curiously, the government has still not defined what the “male third gender” is.

Mallu S Kumbar, a transgender and state coordinator of Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, said the government has not released proper guidelines for the recruitment of transgenders in the police force.“We are unclear about ‘male’ third gender. How will the government distinguish between a male transgender and female transgender? It is an umbrella term… people think that only the ones who wear sarees and beg are the third gender.”

Police stations must be sensitized regarding the issues of transgenders. They should be educated about LGBTQIA+ terms.“We have talked to the ADGP to organize sensitization programmes in all police stations of Karnataka. It’s been 15 days, but we have got no response from the police stations,” she added.

Under its Mythree scheme, the state government gives a monthly pension of Rs 500 to third gender-persons aged between 18 and 64.

Soni (name changed) said: “My only concern is that I am not getting a monthly pension as per the government’s promise. I got Rs. 500 for the first six months, but after that, I stopped receiving it,” She earns her livelihood through begging in Ramohalli, Kengeri.

“I did not know about this scheme; I am not interested as well. My friends in Tamil Nadu have become SPs. In Tamil Nadu, the government supports hijras (transgenders). In Bengaluru, even if we want to do something, nobody guides us about the official formalities.”

Vijendran Rishi, a transgender and first PUC student, said: “The government is fooling us by announcing 79 seats. Most of these seats will not even get occupied by transgenders. The seats might go into corrupt hands. Also, separate washrooms in police stations for the third gender is a concern that should not be neglected.”

Monisha M, a transgender woman who has worked as a helper in Vidhana Soudha for five years, said: “In coming years, the horizon of transgender participation in government institutions will increase. But I feel the government should establish a Welfare Board for Transgenders in Karnataka with a transgender representative. This will help in spreading awareness among the community and encourage more transgenders to enroll in government institutions.”

Lakshmi Prasad, deputy commissioner, administration,said since 2003 the pattern to recruit constables has changed. Now recruitment happens on the basis of competitive exams.

Siddaraju D,senior assistant, police services, home department, said: “We have not done classification; we have recruitment for all third genders.This is the first time…opportunities (have been provided) for the third gender community….Eleven seats for the third gender are reserved for Kalyana Karnataka.This part has the most backward regions, and recruitment from these regions will help the third-gender community people.”

The last date to fill the form for recruitment was October 31.

As per the Karnataka Gazetteer, in Bengaluru, out of 336 vacancies for the post of male police constables, six are reserved for the third gender. In female police constable vacancies, four out of 112 seats are reserved for the third female gender.

yukta.m@iijnm.org

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Yukta Mudgal
Trainee Journalist at IIJNM.

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