Odisha Paves New Schemes to Empower Transgenders
Bhubaneswar: The Department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (PwD) in Odisha has taken a significant leap forward in ensuring the security and welfare of transgender individuals. The government has introduced financial assistance for hostel facilities and economic activities under the “Sweekruti” scheme.
Transgender persons often face challenges when it comes to finding suitable accommodations for education, training, and employment due to restrictions imposed by existing boys’ and girls’ hostels, which do not cater to their self-perceived gender. Additionally, they often encounter difficulties in securing rental housing. To overcome these barriers, the government has extended support by providing assistance for hostel facilities.
Under the scheme, a one-time non-recurring grant of Rs. 15,000/- will be provided to each inmate at the commencement of the hostel for the purchase of furniture and furnishings. Furthermore, transgender students pursuing education and residing in these hostels will receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 3,000/- to cover their hostel expenses. However, this stipend is subject to the submission of a recommendation from the relevant educational institution.
Additionally, the government aims to promote individual entrepreneurship among registered transgender persons, enabling them to generate self-employment-based income through various ventures such as production, marketing, and service centers. Projects with a one-time investment not exceeding Rs. 10 lakh will be considered. Furthermore, group endeavors aimed at creating individual income sources will also be encouraged, with projects not exceeding a one-time investment of Rs. 20 lakh being considered. To support the initial activities and provide startup capital, Self Help Groups formed by transgender persons will receive a one-time assistance of Rs. 1.25 lakh.
For more detailed information regarding these financial assistance programs, individuals may contact the respective District Social Security Officer.
Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, emphasized that the government recognizes the valuable contribution of transgender persons to society. The government is committed to creating an inclusive environment that provides equal opportunities, safeguards their rights, and promotes their meaningful participation in society. With the recent strengthening of the ‘Sweekruti’ scheme, which now includes provisions for hostel facilities and economic activities, the Odisha government is taking significant strides towards the welfare of transgender persons.