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In the face of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Telangana High Court recently directed the state to ensure free supply of essential commodities and medicines to members of the transgender community, without insisting on production of ration cards/white cards.
This apart, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy directed Advocate General BS Prasad to submit a report revealing the following information:
(i) number of transgenders living in the major cities of the State
(ii) the concrete steps being taken by the state government for ensuring that the members of the transgender community have ready availability of foodgrains, consumable items, and medicines as per their need and requirements
(ii) number of NGOs with which the government is coordinating in order to ensure that all the essential commodities do reach the transgender community.
The order states,
The State Government is further directed to ensure that these commodities are given to the members of the transgender community free of cost and without insisting on the production of ration card/white card etc. The report shall be submitted by the learned Advocate General on or before May 08, 2020.
Telangana High Court
The above directions were passed by the Division Bench while dealing with a plea that highlighted the plight of transgender persons in the state amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Court noted that apart from providing essential commodities to transgenders, the plea further sought payment of three months' social security pension to transgender persons, free LPG cylinders and waiving of electricity bill for 6 months, and extension of the Aarogyashri government medical insurance to transgender persons. It was further prayed that the state take appropriate action against those targeting transgender persons by falsely labelling them as potential carriers of HIV and Coronavirus.
The petitioners were represented by Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari and Advocate R Sameer Ahmed.
The matter has now been posted to be taken up on May 11.
[Read the judgment here]