By SK Nag
Next time you stop at any signal, don’t give them a look. Just see them and think over how we failed to recognize them in our mainstream life after many decades of independence. Who are they? They belong to a group and find them as the third gender in our social dictionary. Alas! The so-called rest of the world, obviously including developed parts of the world, too missed recognizing them and remained silently indifferent. The conditions of their social acceptance and giving equal rights fail to overcome the historical attributes we tacitly assigned to this gender in particular, which is holding them back for ages. However, we need to think differently across the globe and accept their existence with a different mindset to bring them back into mainstream life quickly. We have failed to find their identity, which is lost due to our inability to understand their distress manifestation. Therefore be compassionate to them, and change the perception about them.
Of late, the Govt is thinking of providing reservation in line with OBC (non-creamy) entitlement. However, it is better late than never still deserves an accolade. But the moot point is if this will be sufficient for the entire community deprived of their basic rights for so many years. The community not only needs reservation support from the government, but also needs social recognition and respect. Their skill and talents are grossly unrecognized and remained unexplored. Who knows, the world missed many talents which could have helped us in many difficulties. Keeping aside the benefit that society could have used, the problem of third genders is rarely understood. They even don’t have a public toilet facility dedicated to them.
Education opportunities were never extended easily so far. Formal schools keep denying admission unless it is concealed. Their societal involvement with mainstream education makes others claustrophobic. But if we are taught to have a different mindset about them, through govt mass campaigns like “Sachha Bharat,” the situation will definitely improve.
Next time you meet them anywhere, just let them have their franchised right to claim equal benefit as all of us have constitutionally. Therefore in the year 2021, when India is already talking about ‘Make in India,’ ‘Digital India,’ we do not have a plan for an India that can accommodate our third gender in ‘Make in India,’ a conducive approach indubitably. So Govt. is right in its way to identify and strengthen this sect of our society in developing the new India of tomorrow.
(Author is Industrial Engineer, Fellow Valuer, Chartered Engineer, BEE approved Energy Expert and Industry Mentor. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)