In a major move to assure basic healthcare facilities for members of the transgender community, North India's first transgender health clinic was launched in Lucknow, on Friday. The new service was inaugurated at Hotel Renaissance by Anita C Meshram, Project Director at Uttar Pradesh State Aids Control Society. This facility will act as an integrated service delivery centre to ensure health and non-health related assistance to transgender people, including the members of Hijras/Kinnar groups.
Centre to help in strengthening the network of the transgender community
The clinic will be available at transgender community access centres, located near the Hazrantganj Dainik Jagran Chauraha. This project is being implemented with the JHU-EJAF grant offered by YRG care. Besides HIV related care, the clinic will provide aid to trans people suffering from T.B., Hepatitis-B and other health issues, including STIs.
Under the launched initiative, individuals will be helped through a community based, consumer-centric approach. It has been informed that the centre will also work towards providing a better ecosystem for transgender people, wherein they can easily access the available social benefits. Through a list of measures, the clinic would create a network of people from the neglected community, which would help in preparing a comprehensive list of beneficiaries.
Clinic to extend direct and indirect services for the trans folks
Previously, the UPSACS authorities had organised a discussion with the members of the community on 11 August 2021. There, a large number of attendees discussed the plan of action for the clinic. The deliberations were focused on various facets of medical aid for the trans community, including the direct and indirect services. In line with that, the centre would also provide services for mental health and a peer counsellor would be available there.
Speaking at the launch event, Ritwik Das, a member of the Awadh Queer Pride Committee," An initiative like this was needed for a long time in North India. This community has been living without love and respect for ages and it is high time that we address the need for basic public amenities for them. Often ignored at the regular centres, trans people have nowhere to go. Thus, this clinic will be a blessing for thousands of individuals from the trans community."
A step towards ensuring non-HIV healthcare help!
Uttar Pradesh is one of the states housing the maximum proportion of the country's transgender population. In 2014, the Supreme Court of India recognised the third gender through the NALSA judgement, allowing transgender individuals to opt for it on their identity cards. Besides, the apex judicial authority had also ordered the establishment of national and state transgender welfare boards.
Thereafter, the parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 and the country also got a National Council for Transgender Persons in 2020. Notably, social activists and community members have already highlighted the need for medical facilities, apart from HIV-related aid, for the trans community. Now, the latest centre in Lucknow will help in extending a variety of health benefits for promoting the overall welfare of the socially deprived group.