Transgender self-help groups: The government of Bihar has decided to facilitate self-help groups (SHGs) for transgender persons in the state.
The Bihar government facilitating transgender self-help groups had formed a group selling vegetables last week on an experimental basis. This group was given a time frame of three months to function. After this period, the government would send them seed money to grow their business bigger.
The budgetary provision for this is Rs 50 lakhs added an official from the social welfare department’s transgender welfare board.
Rajkumar, director of the social welfare department, said, “the social welfare department has planned self-help groups for transgender persons also. This way we will be able to provide them with financial support. They may sell vegetables or start beauty salons or any other kind of work. The department will give them the seed money for any kind of business.”
Currently, under Jeevika scheme, there are reportedly more than 1 million Self-help groups available for women in Bihar. These are functioning since 2007 by the Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society. The Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS) is an autonomous society under the rural development department of the state government. This initiative was started to make women more self-reliant and has been able to make nearly 12 million women economically independent.
A former member of the transgender welfare board of the department, Reshma, said, “An SHG is, in fact, a group of persons living in the same geographical area and of an almost similar level of income. They form a group and help one another when there is a need for financial support. Every month, the group members deposit some amount of money in the group account and if needed, they get a loan from this fund.”
The group needs to be of a minimum of ten members with someone officiating as secretary and another as treasurer. According to the Census 2011, there are 40,000 transgender persons in Bihar.