Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has referred the Transgender bill, which seeks to empower the community by providing them a separate identity, to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice.
The panel has also been asked to submit its report within three months.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, seeks to define a transgender person and prohibits discrimination against them, was introduced in the Lok Sabha last month.
“Members are informed that the Speaker, Lok Sabha has referred the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, as introduced in Lok Sabha, to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment for examination and report within three months,” Lok Sabha today said.
The bill also confers the right upon transgender persons to be recognised as such and also grants them right to “self-perceived” gender identity.
It provides for a grievance redress mechanism in each establishment to ensure the rights of transgenders are protected and they are insulated from any sort of harassment or discrimination.
The measure provides for a jail term from at least six months to a maximum of two years with a fine for those found guilty of of using transgenders for bonded labour or begging. Also, those who deny them any basic right or force them out of their homes or villages will be handed down similar punishment.
According to the 2011 Census, India has 6 lakh people belonging to the transgender community.
The community is among the most marginalised communities in the country because they don’t fit into the categories of gender of men or women.
They face problems ranging from social exclusion and discrimination to lack of education and medical facilities, and unemployment.
The private members bill moved by Rajya Sabha MP Tiruchi Siva was passed by the Upper House on April 24, 2015. This was for the first time in 45 years that a private members Bill was passed by the House.
The government had then assured the House it would bring its own bill in Lok Sabha after wider consultations.