Kerala opens its first transgender care-home in Thiruvananthapuram

First transgender care-home in Thiruvananthapuram was opened. Photo: Facebook

‘Thanal’, which means shade, will now provide shelter to transgender community in Kerala. The Kerala Social Justice Department opened the state’s first-of-its-kind short-stay shelter in the heart of the state capital in Kunnukuzhy.

The home has been set up with the support of ‘Queerythm’, a community-based outfit (CBO). ‘Thanal’ will offer facilities like food, counselling, medical and legal aid to occupants.

It will also provide accommodation for transgender persons, undergoing sex-change surgeries or even other emergency situations, said Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja.

In a Facebook post, the Minister also mentioned that all employees of the shelter home will be from the transgender community, providing employment to the marginalised community.

According to reports, Bharat, a member and vice-president of ‘Queerythm’, said that two inmates have already started staying at the care-home, where a manager and six employees are appointed for its management.

“Both the inmates have come here in search of a job and approached us for a safe stay. The facility can accommodate 25 persons… They can stay here for 3 months… if necessary, they can extend the period up to 6 months and not more than that,” Bharat said.

Kerala becomes the first State to unveil a ‘Transgender Policy’ to end social stigma and discrimination towards the community. Many of them used to complain that they were neither welcomed in hostels nor as paying guest due to the gender disparity. Many of them are even forced to spend nights at bus stands and railway stations due to unavailability of a safe place to reside.

The recent death of a transwoman near a bus stand in Kozhikode under mysterious circumstances had evoked widespread concerns over the community’s safety.