The Manipur government has taken a significant step toward supporting transgender children in the state. The government has opened two children’s homes for transgender children while a committee is looking into finalizing the draft Gender Policy framed by the Manipur State Commission for Women in 2021 and submitted to the government.
This move was announced by the social welfare director Ng Uttam during a consultation on ‘Urgent need for gender policy in Manipur’ organized by Women Action for Development at the Classic Hotel, North AOC, on Wednesday.
According to Ng Uttam, the Manipur State Commission for Women drafted a Gender Policy in 2021 and submitted it to the government. In the same year, the state government constituted a committee to look into the draft, which is being uploaded on the website of the commission to invite suggestions from the public for necessary modification before finalization.
The policy must address issues of transgender and women, and the committee has already convened its first-round meeting.
Ng Uttam also disclosed that two homes for transgender children have been opened in the state this year, one for trans boys and another for trans girls. Additionally, one de-addiction center for transgender has been opened at Khurai.
The director highlighted the challenges the department faced in having gender budgeting, stating that gender policy cannot be implemented without budgetary provision. Therefore, this year’s budget for the social welfare department earmarked funds specifically for transgender by opening an account head.
Though the state is yet to have a gender policy, gender budgeting had already begun, and Manipur is the first in the North East to have gender budgeting, said the director.
Moreover, the social welfare department has launched Convergence Day for observance every Wednesday at select Anganwadi centers to achieve a cent percent vaccination of pregnant women and infants. This will increase the rate of vaccination among women and infants as they would no longer visit health centers for vaccination, Ng Uttam added.
The consultation was also attended by Manipur State Commission for Women chairperson S Ulka, professor Chinglen Maisnam of Manipur University, and editor Ibungochoubi of Manipuri Mail daily.