In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court in 2014 created the “third gender” status for transgenders. Before that, they were forced to write male or female against their gender.
The apex court also said that transgenders would be allowed admission in educational institutions and given employment on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category.
Since then many doors of employment have opened up for the transgender community. The District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) of Cuttack has inducted seven transgenders as paralegal volunteers (PLV) at the District Judges Court.
The seven transgenders have been appointed as PLVs and will be provided training before starting their work.
The move aims to ensure justice to their community members. DLSA officials said many members of transgenders community face plenty of harassment but are not able to take legal action against their perpetrators due to lack of legal knowledge and help, as reported in Times of India.
Requirements to be inducted as a PLV:
1. The paralegal must have passed class X.
2. The paralegal must not have any criminal background.
3. The paralegal will act as a bridge between distressed persons and the DLSA.
The transgender community is also overwhelmed with the gesture of DLSA.
“The initiative will help us to become a part of the mainstream. Besides, we can help many of our community members,” said Sweety, a transgender appointed as PLV, to Times of India.
“We are physically harassed and even intimated by police. But due to lack legal knowledge, we had to keep our mouths shut. However, now we can also fight for our rights,” said Monika, another transgender PLV, told the publication.
2017 was a tremendous year of growth and opportunities for the transgender community. Lekshmi Priya in this article writes about some of the phenomenal stories of individuals from the transgender community who pushed through the thresholds of social stigma and proved that if you wish hard enough, no dream or ambition is far away.