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Ninety percent of trans Indians face harrassment, survey finds

Ninety percent of trans Indians face harrassment, survey finds

Members of Chandigarh's transgender welfare board advised the university (Photo: Facebook)

Nearly all trans people face daily harassment and discrimination, according to a survey by Panjab University in Chandigarh, northern India.

Ninety-six percent, or 50 out of 52 respondents, said they were victims of sexual abuse.

Meanwhile, 88% said police harassment was commonplace. More than 90% said they faced discrimination, attacks, and felt unsafe in their neighborhoods.

What’s more, 87% said their family had rejected them.

‘Fear, shame, and non-acceptance’

India’s Supreme Court in 2014 recognized transgender identities as an official third gender.

Although the ruling recognized trans and non-binary Indians, they remain marginalized by society.

Panjab University’s survey found that only one third declared themselves as trans on identity documents because of fear of discrimination.

‘Discrimination against transgenders is so rampant that they don’t want to take any chance and declare in the vital identity document that they belong to the marginalised group’ the survey found, according to the Tribune India.

‘Fear, shame and non-acceptance by society are some of the other reasons cited by them’.

It is not easy for trans Indians to find work. The survey found 20% relied on begging. Twenty percent, meanwhile, worked in sex work. Nearly 40% worked blessing newborn babies.

Most reported to be on low incomes. They are more likely to have health problems but also face discrimination in government hospitals.

‘With virtually no social support, restricted means of livelihood, discrimination from all sections of society and apathy from the government, transgenders remain vulnerable to many psychological problems’ the study also said.

Trans rights in India

India’s Supreme Court in 2014 recognized transgender identities as an official third gender.

Although the ruling recognized trans and non-binary Indians, they remain marginalized by society.

Transgender Indians slammed a trans rights bill currently in parliament.

They say it would impede their rights rather than protect them.

Significantly, the bill does not give the right for Indians to choose their own gender. Instead, authorities would ‘inspect’ them.