August 28, 2016 1:10:26 am
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Bill, however, has drawn flak from gender activists who feel that it discriminates against the very people it seeks to protect. Malti, who identifies as a woman, says she knows nothing of the legislation and slams the govt and activists for “doing nothing” for people like her.
Malti, 38, begs at Ashram Chowk, New Delhi
Have you heard of the new transgender Bill?
No, I haven’t heard of it. I can’t read or write and hence it is impossible for me to know about the Bill.
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Do you think the government has done enough for people from your community?
The government has done nothing. They are all too busy filling their own pockets with bribes. I don’t think they care.
The Bill has received a lot of flak from activists who say that it discriminates against transgenders. What do you think?
I have always faced discrimination, it’s not new. As far as the NGO people are concerned, they are too busy partying. They get foreign funding by showing photos of us and then they use that money to have a good time. Nothing reaches us.
What kind of discrimination do you face every day?
People treat us like we are animals. They pull up their windows when they see us approaching their cars. We are also human and deserve better treatment. The government should do something but god knows when they’ll do it. We are also harassed by police most of the time; they demand money to let us beg at the traffic signal.
What would you want to do if you could find work?
I could do anything where I am respected for the person I am and not humiliated because I identify as a woman and do not fit conventional gender roles. I could work as a baby-sitter. I love children as they are honest and do not treat me differently for who I am.
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