According to Niten Chandra, who is the principal secretary of Odisha’s Department of Social Security, the move was made to give the transgender community same benefits as those who live under poverty line and is aimed at improving their overall social and economic status.
Under this move the transgender community will be provided with a Below Poverty Line (BPL) card that will allow them to have access to basic benefits under government welfare programmes.
Some of these government welfare programmes also provide free housing and facilities like 100 days of paid work annually.
Under this benefit the transgender would also get pensions and loans to start their own businesses and they would be entitled to get 5 kg of food grains every month under India’s National Food Security Act.
Rights groups welcomed government’s move with open arms but said they need to make sure that it is implemented effectively.
In the past few years, many state governments have taken steps so as to ensure that transgender community gets equal benefits as others. In 2008, Tamil Nadu became the first state in India to offer welfare benefits to transgender community but the problem of implementation continues to plague the board set up for this purpose.