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Transgenders demand equality, rights

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Demanding social justice and empowerment, a group of transgenders from all over the country interacted with government stakeholders, media and international agencies here Friday.

The 2nd annual 'Hijra Habba' (amalgamation) was organised by NGO India HIV-AIDS Alliance under its programme Pehchan in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

"Although a lot of evils plague the transgender community, this year we are specifically focussing on four core issues -- identity recognition, violence, stigma, discrimination and access to health and legal services," NGO official James Robertson told IANS.

"It is vital to affirm the principle that transgenders are full citizens of this country. Their need to be protected and guaranteed," he added.

According to Akai Padmashali, a transgender from Karnataka, its time people started accepting transgenders as part of society.

"The government too should help us. Give us more opportunities to come out and interact with the society instead of continuing to ignore us," she said.

However, Robertson added that he has seen a little if not much change in the attitude of the government and people.

"Although, its been only two years but more and more activists who are not transgenders are joining us and even the government is listening to us more willingly," he said.

First Published: Fri, November 15 2013. 19:54 IST