To commemorate the Pride month, the British Deputy High Commission, Kolkata hosted a two-day workshop on 27-28 June 2023. The purpose of the workshop was to empower 50 transgender enablers on amending Identity documents and accessing government welfare schemes and services to help themselves as well as others in the community. The workshop was organised in collaboration with Prantakatha (a NGO championing LGBT+ rights/welfare).
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act entitles every Trans person in India to amend identity documents based on chosen name and gender. However, since this Act is relatively new, both the Trans community and the government systems are yet to standardise procedures. The workshop is aimed at empowering Trans community members with knowledge on the process and the accessibility points.
The trainers at the workshop included Anuprabha Das Mazumdar, Transgender rights activist and Fellow, School of Social Entrepreneurs India; and Advocate Suman Ganguly, senior lawyer at Alipore and Kolkata High Court.
Speaking on the occasion, Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner, Kolkata, said, “It’s always a pleasure to welcome our friends from the LGBTQ community for our Pride Event. 75,000 participants and 2 million spectators at the Pride Parade in New Year City this weekend. Polls show both the British public is much more likely to have positive feelings towards LGBT people than negative feelings. Challenges remain but history is on the side of inclusive societies.”
Bappadiyta Mukherjee, Founder and Director of Prantakatha, who moderated the workshop said, ‘‘We are happy to collaborate with the British Deputy High Commission Kolkata for conducting such an important and much-needed workshop on issues related to learning processes regarding how to change government and identity documents to chosen name and gender as described in the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act. The legal and social support for Transgender and other sexual minorities are growing. But unless capacities of community people increase, the implementation of this progressive Act might remain only in documents. Hence, these workshops are immensely helpful.’’
The British Deputy High Commission Kolkata continues to engage with partners from East and North-East India on the rights and welfare of the LGBT+ community. Pride Matters and rights can never be taken for granted. LGBT+ people are facing increased violence, stigma and persecution because of their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBT+ rights are human rights. The UK is committed to championing these rights internationally and supporting those who defend them. LGBT+ rights are under increased threat in many parts of the world.
The UK is committed to the principle of non-discrimination on any grounds, including on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics.