Trans Indians can use any bathroom facilities they want, government insists

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Indian government insists the states should reconsider bathroom policy and show that trans Indians are accepted and welcomed. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation issued guidelines earlier this week highlighting that “in many communities, the third-gender may often be dissociated from the mainstream.” It urges the states to “make a conscious effort that they are recognised as equal citizens and users of toilets,” to promote the gender equality including not only trans community but also the general rights of women. “There are also examples from around the country, where people belonging to the third gender have come up as Swachhta (hygiene) champions and have played a huge role in taking the message of Swachhta to households in the community,” the letter read. “Where suitable, their support can be enlisted in engaging communities, and their efforts duly recognised and honoured to break any stigma around them, and to also enable them to use facilities without any embarrassment.” Sangama, an Indian sexuality and gender NGO, told Reuters today that they are praising the governmental decision.However, they added that the move needed to be backed by a strong education campaign to change attitudes toward the transgender community, which faces a lot of discrimination in India.

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