Delhi govt to offer free travel for third gender in DTC, cluster buses

The population of the transgender community in Delhi, according to the Census 2011, was 4,213. Officials said only 1,176 of them were enrolled as voters.

Transgender community members will be able to avail the benefit of free bus services based on a government certificate.

Currently, certificates for transgender community members are issued by the district magistrates. The Delhi transport department has requested information from the department of social welfare regarding the community.

“Discussions are underway with the social welfare department to consider consolidating the entire data of transgender individuals for the transport department. This initiative is expected to benefit thousands of transgender individuals in Delhi,” Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, defines a “transgender person” as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-man or trans-woman, a person with intersex variations, genderqueer and a person having such socio-cultural identities as kinner, aravani and jogta.

According to the Census 2011, the overall population of transgenders is 4,87,803 in India. The population of transgenders in Delhi is 0.86 per cent of the total population.

In a statement, the government said that currently, there is no acknowledgement of individuals within the third gender community in bus passes, leading to a lack of representation for those who identify themselves as a distinct gender separate from male and female.

Members of the transgender community are compelled to choose between male and female genders when using bus passes, causing distress and discomfort as their true identity is not recognised, it added.

Routine berating by conductors, especially when individuals from the transgender community choose the female gender, adds to their misery. Accusations of attempting to procure free bus tickets further exacerbate their trauma, the statement said.

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