“We have been abandoned by our families and society and if the government is also not supportive who do we turn to? “ – Jeeva, 40 years old TG, from Chennai, TN
“I live in Chennai with my elderly mother. I am the President of the VCAN state network. I also run a CBO and I am a member of the Tamilnadu Welfare Board for Transgenders. Though I hold positions in various organizations the income I get only pays for our house rent, food and my mother’s medication. Normally, members of the TG community have to pay double the rent compared to others. I wish I could earn more not because I want to live a luxurious life but because I would like to provide good food and a healthy life to my mother. Since the last one year I have been struggling to provide for my family because of the health problems I have due to SRS surgery which has made it difficult for me to work and travel. Since I get an honorarium only when I travel on work or for meetings my monthly income has come down and I am having a difficult time caring for my family.
“In Tamil Nadu elderly TGs above 40 years get an Old Age Pension of Rs. 1000 but we cannot avail of Central Government schemes and benefits. Even the Old Age Pension that the Central Government provides us is difficult for us to avail of. Presently the only benefit I have is the ration card I got under the BPL category.
“The Central government should help people like us who are in need and support help us to lead a quality life by enabling us to access pension schemes. We have been abandoned by our families and society and if the government is also not supportive who do we turn to?
“The Government should revise the criteria and eligibility for accessing schemes and services because most members of my community don’t have the proof that the government denotes in its order. So the community has to battle and protest for their right to access the schemes which are suppose to meant for every citizen of this country.”