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TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY AND HEALTH CARE ISSUES IN INDIA: A CRITICAL STUDY By Nimisha Mishra P.HD. Scholar At Alliance University Banglore(law) India :

TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY AND HEALTH CARE ISSUES IN INDIA: A CRITICAL STUDY By Nimisha Mishra P.HD. Scholar At Alliance University Banglore (law ) India

Who are Transgender?:

Who are Transgender? First of all they are humans. They are the individuals having gender identity different from their biological sex. Their gender identity and behavior does not follow the practice of stereotypes. They fall under LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender) group They are the marginalized section of Indian society and face social, economic and legal difficulties as well. Official count of third gender in the country 4.9 lakhs . Rural I ndia comprises over almost 70,000 transgender.

Recognition of Transgender as “Third Gender”.:

Recognition of Transgender as “Third Gender”. The Supreme Court of India recognised transgenders as the third gender, in a landmark judgement in : National legal Services Authority v. Union Of India Justice KS Radha Krishnan: “Recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human right issue”

Discrimination and ill-treatment by Doctors and hospital staff:

Discrimination and ill-treatment by Doctors and hospital staff Dr. Ramakrishanan of “ Saathii ” HIV and Aids non profit group of Chennai explains that: “A physical examination is not required but many doctors are still doing it. ID cards are given only to those who have had sex reassignment surgery. Doctors touch patients inappropriately to see if they get an erection.” Souvik Ghosh of saathii says: “when they go to the government hospitals doctors ask them to show their genital area to see what they have . Trans people are told to leave or are treated like aliens. There are no queues for them only for men and women. Doctors will say they serve only men and women. A transgender individual even died following a train accident because doctors could not decide whether to admit her to male or female ward.

health related issues among Hijras/TG community :

health related issues among Hijras /TG community Mental and sexual sufferings are common among these people. Exclusion from the society, No access to schools , low socioeconomic status makes their life vulnerable. They are unaware of their rights and easily get victimized which eventually affects their mental state very badly. They are mostly involved in odd jobs like sex work, and that too without proper care and protection thus under high risk of HIV and STI(sexually transmitted infections) and Syphilis .

Sex Reassignment surgery:

Sex Reassignment surgery The Supreme Court of India has given legal status to gender after sex change surgery. At present there are no medical guidelines for sex reassignment surgery in India. Dr. Lakshmi Bai , project director Tamil Aids Initiative says: “most transgender go to quacks or dhai ammas (leaders in transgender community )for castration. They are done in a bizzare environment. The transgender is prepared for the crude surgery days ahead with special poojas and diet. There is a six foot deep pit dug before the dhai amma cuts the pennis . Hot oil is poured to stop the bleeding. If the transgender dies he is buried in the pit. Else, a function is held after the wounds heals to celebrate her puberty.”

SRS and provisions under Indian Penal Code:

SRS and provisions under Indian Penal Code According to sec. 320 of IPC “emasculating” someone (here to refer castration ie , removal of testes) is causing him grievous hurt” for which one can be punished under sec 325 of IPC. Even if one voluntarily chooses to be emasculated, the person who performs emasculation is liable for punishment. The person undergoing such operation could also be punished for abetting this offence. However, sec 88 of IPC is an exception if the action is undertaken in good faith. The legal status of voluntary emasculation and sex change operation should be clarified.

SRS and state government initiatives:

SRS and state government initiatives A very few state governments say one or two have started working on free SRS. At private clinics cost of the surgery is very high and not possible for every transgender to afford it. Many states are lacking in even running basic awareness programmes .

barriers to health care services for Transgenders:

barriers to health care services for Transgenders Lack of education Lack of awareness Exclusion from the society Lower socio economic status

Need of separate Medical Bill for transgenders health related issues:

Need of separate Medical Bill for transgenders health related issues It’s high time the government should start thinking on this line. As it is a human right issue also right to health is protected under article 21 of Indian Constitution. Proper identification of transgenders across the country, state wise should be done . Guide lines for SRS should be framed at the earliest.

Need to educate :

Need to educate They are in need of social help. There is need of empathy not sympathy. All policies and every legal provision will be of help to them only once they are educated enough to understand them and make use of them. A sense of confidence can do wonders to them. And if this comes with proper health care then a lot should be done to make them aware of their own health.


Conclusion: As said by Justice KS Radhakrishnan that giving legal status to transgenders is a human right issue, we should start looking up to them as humans first. Right to health is a very basic right which needs to be protected to be able to enjoy other rights. If these people are treated in a dignified way and given opportunity to lead a respected life they can too contribute to the nation building. Else , due to oppression and discrimination which affects the mental health may turn in to criminals. Here two lines fits perfectly “Prevention is better than cure” and “health is wealth”.





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