COVID Cash Relief To Transgender Persons Not Holding Ration Cards: State To Madras HC

The State on Thursday told the Madras High Court that the lack of ration cards may not stand in the way of transgender persons seeking to avail the State’s Rs 4,000 COVID-19 cash relief.

The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by a transgender rights activist, Grace Banu Ganeshan, highlighting that most Transgender persons in Tamil Nadu do not possess ration cards.

Appearing for Banu, Senior Advocate Jayna Kothari submitted on Thursday that about 12,000 transgender persons had earlier been issued identity cards by a Transgender Board. However, the Board has not been functional for some time and no idendity cards have been issued over the last two years or so, the Court was told. Only a fraction of transgender persons have ration cards, she submitted. However, they do have other identity cards which reflect their transgender status.

The plea sought a direction on the State Government to extend the cash benefits to transgenders that the State Government has extended to ration card-holders.

The plea also submitted that the Transgender Community are illiterate and hardly have enough knowledge to use an online portal for getting Transgender Identity Card.

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