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Apex court's decision on transgenders to change social mindset also
Mindset against any custom or thing or people is very difficult to change but when there is a determined effort and legal backing, it does change. For example, women were used to be burned at the funeral pyre of their dead husbands under the custom of Sati, but Raja Ram Mohan Roy took up cudgels on behalf of the widows and the British rulers were made to enact a law treating the custom of Sati as illegal.

Through concerted efforts, the mindset of the society changed and now the Sati Pratha is not visible in the society.. My father tells me that before Independence, Hindus and Muslims did not use to inter-dine or inter-marry and there used to be cries of "Hindu Water" and "Muslim Water" at the Railway stations as Hindus used to drink water from the hands of a Hindu only and the Muslims similarly used to drink water from the hands of a Muslim only.

Separate utensils were kept in the Hindu houses for their Muslim guests. However, now no such custom is in vogue and Hindus not only inter-dine but inter-marry also. Then there was the custom of untouchability in which certain categories of Scheduled Castes were not touched but through the efforts of Gandhi Ji, this custom has become more or less outdated.

Now, there is a mindset against the transgenders also and people don't like to share classrooms with them and the result is that they remain uneducated and turn to beggary. They are expected to sing and dance at certain functions and are considered neither male nor female but are generally addressed as females. There are no separate toilets or healthcare for them.

However, while granting them the status of Third Gender and reservations in educational institutions and Government jobs, the Supreme Court has directed the Central as well as the State Governments to provide them with special toilets and adequate healthcare.

The Supreme Court has also directed the Government to launch awareness campaign about them so that public mindset does not remain against them and they are regarded as equal human beings. In this regard, we as individuals have to also make our contribution to remove social stigma against them.



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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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