In a country like ours, the queer community faces struggles on a daily basis because of the preexisting societal and cultural discrimination. Many are disowned by their own families, leading to their homelessness. For many from the Trans community, discrimination, unacceptance and rejection are a part and parcel of their lives.
The Indian Govt., however, in a much appreciated and necessary move is on the path to making the lives of the Trans folks of the country easier by launching various schemes for their welfare. One of such schemes is Grarima Greh, shelter homes for Trans people.
The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of India is planning to set up ‘Garima Greh’ or shelter homes for transgenders across the country. This is aimed at rehabilitating the members of the community who need shelter and support for some social or cultural factors in their lives.
On 25th of November, 2020, Union Social Justice Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot announced the scheme along with introducing the National Portal for Transgender people, a portal from where the Trans community may obtain identity cards and online certificates. The members of the community will no longer require to physically visit a government office and will be able to apply digitally for their transgender identity cards through this portal.
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The Garima Greh scheme was first launched in Vadodara and will be run in association with the Laxman Trust, which is a community-based organisation run by members of the trans community.
The main motive behind the scheme is to provide shelter home along with basic amenities to members of the trans community who need support like food, shelter, medical facility, and clothes along with mental and psychological support. This scheme will further provide a support system for transgender persons whose parents or families are unable to take care of them and help them to live their life with dignity and respect. The scheme will also ensure opportunities for capacity building and skill development.
The homes are designed to be positive and provide holistic development to these individuals.
The scheme will further be called “Support for Marginalized Individuals and livelihood Enterprise’ (SMILE).
In this scheme, 10 cities have been identified for setting up 13 Shelter homes across the country on a pilot basis to understand the requirements of the community. Each house will be able to accommodate up to 25 individuals. After the impact analysis and the feedback received, this project will expand and launch in other parts of the country.
“The establishment of Garima Greh will align with the provision laid down under Section 12(3) of the Act which states that whether any parent or a member of his immediate family is unable to take care of a transgender, the competent court shall by an order direct such person to be placed in the rehabilitation center,” he further said.
The scheme is designed to change the lives of many transgender people and support them towards a better future, allowing them to lead a life that is independent and dignified. The scheme will also help with reintegrating them into society.
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The members residing in ‘Garima Greh’ homes will be provided with separate identity cards, PAN cards, ration cards, passports, and other important documents.
To move forward with the scheme, the main officials of this scheme have asked interested NGOs owned by the Transgender community to help the community jointly and the shelter homes will be managed by the (PMC) Project Management Committee. The committee has set a curriculum to check the overall progress of the scheme monthly and take the necessary actions to make it more favorable as per feedback received. The shelters are also going to be situated outside residential localities to ensure that there are no unscrupulous elements disturbing the mental and physical wellbeing of the trans community residing in these homes.
While this is only a first step towards reintegrating the members who have been shunned by their community, there is still a long way to go to ensure complete equality, respect and dignity. Moreover, with the success of this endeavor the Government is also planning to introduce more such schemes to help the entire spectrum of LGBTQIA+ community.