Delhi government announces free bus travel for trans community in capital city

LGBTQ

The Delhi government has announced free bus travel for the transgender community in New Delhi, India. 

On 5 February, the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal made the announcement, making public bus transport free for the community. 

State-run bus travel is already free for women and senior citizens in the city, with the scheme now extending to transgender citizens. 

“Want to give some good news,” Kejriwal began, as per Times of India. “In the last 75 years, no government in the country has done any good work for the kinnar (transgender) community. 

“Delhi govt is taking a big step and making it free for members of the community to travel on public buses.

“Like women, members of the kinnar community will get free safar (travel) in Delhi govt-run buses.”

The proposal still needs to be presented to the cabinet before it is rolled out. However, Kejriwal hopes that they will launch the scheme “in the coming few weeks”. 

However, others have expressed concern that not everyone who identifies as trans will be able to use the service. Rupika Dhillon, director of NGO SPACE, told the publication that the announcement is “welcome”, but they need to iron out a few things first. 

“‘Transgender’ is an umbrella term that includes not only trans women but also trans men. The latter are excluded from most facilities. 

“Trans women already avail free travel for women on public buses. Now, how are you going to identify or determine who are trans men?”, said Dhillon. Thousands of trans people in the country are already reportedly waiting for IDs.

Dhillon also noted that the LGBTQ+ community not only need support with bus travel but with job support, too. 

It comes as India’s largest city, Mumbai, celebrated its first Pride March in four years

The LGBTQ+ parade kicked off on 3 February. A crowd of people marched through the streets of Gamdevi in South Mumbai to raise awareness of queer rights in India. 

Around 1,000 people were expected to attend the event in the South Asian city, as per Free Press Journal as the community is still battling for rights, including same-sex marriage

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