India constitutes its National Council for Transgender Persons

New Delhi, Much to the cheer of the transgender community of the country, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has constituted National Council for Transgender Persons.

In exercise of the powers conferred by section 16 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, the Central Government has constituted a National Council for Transgender Persons, announced the Ministry.

While the Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment will be ex-officio Chairperson of the Council, the Minister of State of the Ministry would be the ex-officio Vice-Chairperson.

The Council will also have representation of various Ministries and Departments of the Central Government that include Ministries of Health and Family Welfare, Home Affairs, Housing and Urban Affairs, Minority Affairs, Human Resources Development, Rural Development and Labour and Employment.

Similarly, representatives of the National Commission for Women, National Human Rights Commission, NITI Aayog have been the members of the Council along with representatives of all the State Governments and Union Territories. Experts from Non-Government Organisations will also get berths in the Council.

The Council has included five nominated members from the transgender community who are known for their pioneering service for the community. They are Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Gopi Shankar Madurai, Meera Parida, Zainab Javid Patel and Kak Chingtabam Shyamcand Sharma.

Broadly, the National Council shall perform five functions, the Ministry has explained.

It will advise the Central Government on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to transgender persons and will monitor and evaluate the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participation of transgender persons.

It will also review and coordinate the activities of all the departments of Government and other Governmental and non-Governmental Organisations which are dealing with matters relating to transgender persons.

The other two major responsibilities of the Council have been redressal of grievances of transgender persons and to perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

The tenure of office of the members of the Council – other than ex officio members – shall be for three years.