New Delhi, May 24 (UNI): The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry on Monday announced one-time subsistence allowance of Rs 1,500 to each transgender as immediate support to their basic requirements amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The ministry’s announcement comes in the wake of distressed calls and emails by the members of the transgender community seeking government help and support in light of the current situation.
The government has also asked NGOs and community-based organisations (CBOs) working for transgenders to spread awareness about this step, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said in a statement.
Any transgender person or CBO on behalf of the transgender person can apply for financial assistance after providing basic details, Aadhar, and bank account number in a form available on the website of the National Institute of Social Defence.
The form is also being circulated on social media with the help of NGOs and CBOs to ensure that it reaches maximum people of the beneficiary community, the ministry said.
The ministry has also announced a free helpline for distressed transgender persons where they can seek psychological support and mental health care, much required during the pandemic.
Any transgender person can connect with experts on the helpline mumber 8882133897. On this helpline, counselling services will be provided by professional psychologists for their mental health.
A letter has also been written by the ministry to the principal secretaries of all states to ensure that there is no discrimination against transgender persons in existing Covid/vaccination centers. They have also been requested to conduct awareness drives especially reaching out to the transgender community in different vernaculars to ensure they are informed and aware of the vaccination process.
A request has also been made to the states to organise separate mobile vaccination centres or booths for vaccination of transgender persons such as those taken up in the states of Haryana and Assam.
During the first wave of the Covid-19, the ministry had provided a similar financial assistance to the community. Around Rs 98.50 lakh were distributed among 7000 transgender persons across India, the ministry said.