The Price That Transgender Folk Pay To Accept And Assert Their Identity


Trigger Warning: Transphobia, sexual assault, and murder

On 15th January 2019 when 21-years-old Alka left her place to visit the Tattapani festival ground in Balrampur, Chhattisgarh, did she realise that this would be her last day? When she met two men, Saurabh Gupta and Shahshank Gupta there, did she realise that one of them is an alleged rapist and that these two men will mercilessly murder her? Did she realise the kind of danger she was in? Did she realise that she was going to die when they took a huge rock and crushed her genitalia? We can never know the answers to these questions because Alka is no more.

Alka was a young transgender woman, who had left her home at the age of 16 and was living on her own. She was killed allegedly because the two men realised that Alka was not a cisgender woman but a transgender woman. They felt so angry that they decided to punish Alka by mutilating her genitalia and then killing her. How dare she present herself as a ‘woman’? How dare she ‘cheat’ these men who wanted to fulfill their lust? How dare she exist? And thus, they allegedly decided to cease Alka’s existence as a woman, forever.

This had happened in Chhattisgarh, at Tattapani, which is a hot-water spring where tourists throng especially during Makar Sankranti. An eerily similar incident happened just a few days after this incident in the buzzing and modern city of Delhi.

A 21-year-old transgender woman was given a lift by two men in a cab on the midnight of January 20, 2019, from Trilokpuri to Barapullah. The duo allegedly tried to sexually assault her in the car. When she declined the duo, Sagar Kumar and Chandra Kant, were reportedly so enraged that they shot her in the abdomen and threw her out of the moving car. Fortunately, she survived.

Violence against people from the transgender community is not new. The British infamously registered and controlled Indian transgender persons under the guise of The Criminal Tribes Act, 1971 which considered Hijras (called ‘Eunuchs’ in the Act, a derogatory term referring to castrated men) as criminals and barred them from dressing as women or engaging in their traditional activities. Violence was perpetrated against them as they were considered a threat to British culture and polity. However, the Hijras survived the crushing British Rule.

NEW DELHI, INDIA DECEMBER 28: Members and supporters of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community shout slogans during a protest to stop the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, at Jantar Mantar, on December 28, 2018 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Cut to 2019, the government of the Republic of India, a constitutional parliamentary, socialist, secular, republic, which is the largest democracy of the world, and which is bound to protect the values of equality, justice, liberty, and fraternity, enacted the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 despite protests against it by the Transgender community.

The Act trivialises sexual abuse and violence against transgender persons and offers a reduced punishment ranging from 6 months to 2 years for offenses against transgender persons, while similar offenses against women are awarded a much higher quantum of punishment up to life imprisonment. How can then one expect the law to act as a deterrent to the violence against the transgender community?

very year across the world numerous transgender persons are murdered simply because of who they are. A much higher number faces sexual and physical violence, which often goes unreported. Most often the violence is done by their own families and partners. This is the price that transgender folk pay to accept and assert their identity. This is the price they pay for simply existing.

As we celebrated the Day of non-violence and peace on January 30, on the occasion of death anniversary of the biggest proponent of non-violence in the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi, and pledge to carry forward the legacy of Ahimsa, it is time to ponder and reflect upon the violence perpetrated against transgender folk, and how we can create a future where every transgender person feels safe and secure, and doesn’t think of being murdered every single living day of their life.

Mission Family Development Campaign will run from Makar Sankranti.

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Buxar: Makar Sankranti will start the Mission Parivar Vikas Abhiyan in the state from 14 January. The two-phase campaign will run till 31 January. Under this, the couple will be observed in the first phase from 14 to 20 January where couple contact week. At the same time, in the second phase, Family Planning Service Week will be organized from 21 to 31 January. In this regard, Executive Director of the State Health Committee, Manoj Kumar has instructed the civil surgeon including all the District Magistrates.

Civil Surgeon Dr. Usha Kiran Verma said that the Mission Family Development has been started in Bihar by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the list of high total fertility rate. He said that it has been initiated to reduce the total fertility rate (total number of children per woman), increase the use of modern contraceptives, ensure community level access to contraceptive devices and increase public awareness towards family planning. . The civil surgeon said that according to the report of the sample registration survey, Bihar’s total fertility rate is 3.2.

Couple contact fortnight will give message of awareness

Under this, the couple, who are celebrated in the first phase, get married at the right age to bring awareness to the public during Sampark Pakhwara, first child after at least 2 years after marriage, at least 3 years gap between two children and childbirth. After or after abortion, emphasis will be given on permanent and temporary means of family planning. At the same time, a sterilization camp will be organized in the first referral units during Family Planning Service Week. Speed ​​up service delivery as per demand

It has been told through the letter that about 60 percent of the couples after institutional delivery and about 90 percent after safe abortion, there is a demand for family planning. Keeping this in mind, special emphasis will be given during the campaign on female sterilization and copper-T installation after delivery. For this, women wishing for childbirth and abortion through family welfare consultants, ANM, staff nurses in the delivery room will be facilitated and will be facilitated. What is the purpose of mission family development

Mission Vikas Parivar aims to bring Bihar’s fertility rate to 2.1 by the year 2025. Or rather, a target has been set to bring Bihar’s fertility rate to 2.1 by the year 2025. The official said that it has included new activities like new contraceptive devices Antara and Chhaya, awareness on family planning from Sarathi van, new puzzle kit for the couple and mother-in-law conference for community awareness. Award will be given for better performance

The letter issued by the Executive Director stated that during the campaign, annual awards ceremony will be organized in the year 2019 under the family planning program from January to December. Health institutions, service providers and originators will be rewarded in this. CS said that the campaign is to be executed in four phases, the first two phases of which have already been completed between 11 to 31 July and 24 November to 6 December.

Tezu: What to Experience at This Scenic Town in Arunachal Pradesh


Tezu, a small town of beautiful rivers, pristine lakes and verdant valleys, is located in the Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh. While the beauty of the Northeastern states remain unparalleled, Tezu particularly stands out for its simplicity. A land of many tribes, the Mishmi tribes are said to be the earliest inhabitants of this land; their history dating back to the period of Mahabharata.

Start your tour of the hamlet with Dong, a scenic valley situated at the confluence of Sati and Lohit rivers. It is believed to be the first place in Eastern India to receive the sun-rays every morning. At an altitude of 1,240 metres, Dong offers scope for trekking amidst spectacular views.

Glow Lake looks straight out of a post-card; with its picturesque landscape and snow-capped mountains forming the backdrop. Situated an altitude of 5,000 feet above sea level, you can indulge in an adventurous trek here as well.

For the religiously inclined, Parasuram Kunda is a must visit. Situated on the bank of Brahmaputra and surrounded by majestic mountains, Parasuram Kunda is frequented the most during Makar Sankranti; it is believed that taking a dip in the waters here washes away one’s sins. A temple in the premises is dedicated to Lord Parasuram.

For the culture vultures, a visit to Tezu District Museum And Craft Center is unmissable. It houses some of the best art collections that reflect the culture of the tribes of Tezu. Some of the rare collections include paintings, manuscripts, weapons, costumes and ornaments that have been used by the tribes.

Don’t leave Tezu without exploring D’Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary, which was earlier known as Lali Wildlife Sanctuary. Spread across an area of 190 square kilometres, the sanctuary is home to wildlife including tiger, elephant, hog deer, wild pig and sambar as well endangered, resident and migratory birds.