The Delhi government has ordered all its departments, offices, district authorities, municipal corporations, state-run companies, and the police to have mandatory distinct and exclusive washrooms for transgender persons. The transgender community has welcomed this decision with an open hand.
The order moreover, stated that trans-people shall continue to be allowed to use gender-based toilets as per their self-identified gender. The government has given agencies a maximum time of two years to construct these exclusive toilets. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), in its annual budget for the years 2021-2022, has decided to prepare public toilets for the third gender.
The order reads – In compliance with the provisions of section 22 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 for ensuring adequate welfare measures for transgender persons, all public buildings under all the departments, autonomous bodies, Public Sector Units, corporations, and local bodies of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi are hereby directed to create separate identified public toilet facilities for transgender persons.
Trans rights activist Abhina Aher said that giving any facility for the community members’ basic necessity is a welcoming change. The government needs to improve its priorities for trans persons, she said. Speaking about the gender-neutrality aspect, Aher added that some trans-people feel that having separate toilets would further stigmatize them. The government must make at least one toilet gender-neutral in areas where separate toilets cannot be made, she said.
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