New Delhi: The National Transgender Awards for 2023 were recently held in the National Capital, New Delhi, with the goal of creating a more inclusive society for transgender people.It was the second edition of the awards, the first one was held in December 2021 in Delhi itself. The awards were organised by the Acharya Mahamandaleshwar of the Kinnar Akhada Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, with Justice Arum Mishra, India Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission India (NHRC), attending as the Chief Guest and honouring the changemakers in the field of trans inclusion for the year 2022.
During the awards, Team Banega Swasth India interacted with Laxmi Narayan Tripathi to understand the need for building a trans-inclusive society and building a platform for them
NDTV: What’s The Idea Behind Starting National Transgender Awards?
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi: The idea was to recognise the transgender community, especially when there was no recognition for them. There have been many awards across the country—we have awards for women, we have awards for many other things, but nothing for transgender people. So, we decided to start the Transgenders Awards and that was the beginning. The first transgender awards happened in 2021.
NDTV: What Are The Challenges Faced By Transgenders In The Society And How Can We Overcome These?
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi: The problem is the stigma and discrimination that transgender people face. There are numerous policies in place to protect transgender people, and much progress has been made in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership; however, much more work remains to be done, and the root cause of all of this is stigma and discrimination. There are so many projects that the government is running that need to be revisited. I believe the foundation has been beautifully laid; now that Garima GHs are available for transgenders, transgender cards are available, and there is a special Ayushman card for transgenders, things are happening, but I believe more work needs to be done in the employment area so that transgenders can live a dignified life.
NDTV: How Can We Make A More Trans-Inclusive Environment?
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi: We should have a non-discriminatory policy, which means that if anyone hires the employer and publishes, it will be for a person, not a gender. My gender and sexuality are inside my home, my productivity should be taken into consideration. If non-discriminatory policy comes, it will change the work scenario, and as a result, a lot of transgender people will get dignified employment, which is necessary. When we created the Trans Allyship Award category for the National Transgender Awards 2023, we had this vision in mind to felicitate the companies that have done good for the transgender community.
NDTV: What Are The Health Related Challenges Faced By Transgender Community In India And How Can We Overcome These?
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi: Access is the biggest problem. Health is for everybody, and going to the right doctor is very important. That type of sensitivity is really important and should be taken into consideration for the health needs of transgender people in India. I applaud campaigns like Banega Swasth India and the work they are doing; they have brought about significant change in society, particularly in rural areas. And I believe that if transgender people are included in campaigns like this, then a change will definitely happen for the whole community.
NDTV: What Are Some Of The Special Needs Of Transgender People?
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi: Transgenders have a whole lot of special needs, they have sex change operations, a proper endocrinologist is also very important. For trans-men it is mascunalisation, for trans-women it is formalisation, there is hormone therapy, so there is a whole lot of things that are required by the transgender community.
NDTV: How Do We Ensure That As A Society We Can Fight Prejudice and Transphobia To Ensure Socio-economic Equity For Trans People?
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi: The first thing is acceptance. Don’t be biased, don’t come with your preconceived notions about the transgender community. Be free with your mind to accept people from all communities and that will bring out a lot of change in the society.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.