Development of Transgender (Hijra/ Aravani) Rights in Tamil Nadu, India
The Tamil Nadu state in India was the first state to introduce a transgender (hijra/ aravani) welfare. According to the transgender welfare policy transgender people can access free Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) in the Government Hospital (only for MTF); free housing program; various citizenship documents; admission in government colleges with full scholarship for higher studies; alternative sources of livelihood through formation of self-help groups (for savings) and initiating income-generation programmes (IGP). Tamil Nadu was also the first state to form a Transgender Welfare Board with representatives from the transgender community. This will be an interactive session with the participants to understand how similar initiatives can be initiated for transgender development. We will also discuss success stories from other countries and take back the learning for further research and advocacy work. The session also aims to understand the challenges faced at the grassroots level and at the policy level for transgender development and strategies to overcome these challenges.