Skip to main content

Poor allocation, negligible disbursement: Whither schemes for transgender welfare?

By Bharat Dogra* 

There are not many schemes for welfare of transgender people in India and so special care has to be given for the proper implementation of the few that exist. At the level of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment there is a scheme, or rather a sub-scheme or part of a wider scheme which is devoted exclusively to the welfare of transgender people.
Although the overall allocation for this scheme is very less but it has been going up steadily for 4 years from Rs 10 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 20 crore in 2021-22 to Rs 30 crore in 2022-23 and finally Rs 53 crore in 2023-24.
Hence, a claim can be made that the allocation for this scheme has increased by over five times within four years, but such a claim would actually be quite misleading because if we look at the actual spending then there has been hardly any achievement under this scheme as the actual expenditure has been very inadequate.
It was nil in 2020-21, Rs 1.9 crore the next year and in the financial year 2022-23, up to 31 December 2022, i.e. for the first 9 months out of 12 months, the disbursement was only Rs 0.03 crore or just 3 lakh.
This is also an example which shows how merely looking at the original budget allocations can be very misleading and we must follow up to see the actual expenditure. In this particular case an entirely different situation is revealed if we look at expenditure instead of merely the original budget allocation (generally called budget estimate or BE).
Merely looking at the original budget allocations can be very misleading. We must follow up to see the actual expenditure
If we look at the last three years of this scheme then data is available for actual spending in 33 months out of 36, which is likely to be quite close for the entire period. This shows that the allocation was Rs 60 crore while the spending was less than Rs 2 crore, showing a total spending of just 3% or so.
While the allocation for these three years cannot be called adequate, but still within the limits of the resources that were available, if the entire fund had been used properly, with the participation of transgender communities and those who have experience of working with them, identifying vulnerable people within them, then it is likely that in terms of good learning experiences as well as some genuine welfare among a few thousand vulnerable and needy people, something of value could have been done under this scheme, but clearly this opportunity has been missed so far.
This year, in financial year 2023-24, hopefully some remedial action can be taken as the highest budget of Rs 53 crore is available this year. One hopes that the same experience as that of the previous three years will not be repeated and there will be some important work of value to show for this scheme’s performance this year.
*Honorary convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include ‘A Day in 2071’ and ‘Man over Machine’



'Very low rung in quality ladder': Critique of ICMR study on 'sudden deaths' post-2021

By Bhaskaran Raman*  Since about mid-2021, a new phenomenon of extreme concern has been observed throughout the world, including India : unexplained sudden deaths of seemingly healthy and active people, especially youngsters. In the recently concluded Navratri garba celebrations, an unprecedented number of young persons succumbed to heart attack deaths. After a long delay, ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) has finally has published a case-control study on sudden deaths among Indians of age 18-45.

SC 'appears to foster' culture of secrecy, does not seek electoral bond details from SBI

By Rosamma Thomas*  In its order of November 2, 2023 on the case of Association for Democratic Reforms vs Union of India contesting constitutional validity of electoral bonds, the Supreme Court directed all political parties to give particulars of the bonds received by them in sealed covers to the Election Commission of India. SC sought that information be updated until September 2023. 

How national chauvinism 'overtook' sport despite cricketing glory of World Cup 2023

By Harsh Thakor*  The recently-concluded cricket World Cup was a testimony or manifestation of the thrills, intensity, twists and turns in sport and evolution of the game of cricket. It carried on the trend of the World Cups of yesteryears. Possibly, this was the best ever Indian team in a World Cup, and arguably amongst the best ever to contest a World Cup.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Only 12% of schools RTE compliant: Whither 6% budgetary allocation for education?

By Ambarish Rai* Despite Indian state’s commitment of 6% GDP on education, the Finance Minister completely ignored right to education for children and strengthening implementation of RTE Act which makes education a fundamental right in her budget speech . The Right to Education (RTE) Forum, which is a collective of different stakeholders in education, condemns this neglect of a legal entitlement, which is unconstitutional and demand for overall increase in the budget to ensure improvement in learning outcomes and overall enhancement of quality education.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

'Ambiguous policy': India late in advocating EVs as energy storage in national grid

By Shankar Sharma*  This is regarding the points raised by the Chief Electricity Authority’s (CEA's) advocacy for usage of electrical vehicles (EVs) as energy storage technology, and few associated issues . An objective reading of what he states should reiterate the enormously growing importance of battery energy storage systems (BESS) in our need to transition to a net-zero carbon scenario for the country.

Union Health Ministry, FSSAI 'fail to respond' to NHRC directive on packaged food

By Our Representative  The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed deep concern over the adverse health effects caused by packaged foods high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Recognizing it as a violation of the Right to Life and Right to Health of Indian citizens, the quasi-judicial body called for a response from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regarding its selection of front-of-pack labels aimed at providing consumers with information to make healthier choices.