436 of 1,000 signatures

To,

Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal - Assam Chief Minister

Mr. Vivek Joshi - Registrar General of India

Mr. Prateek Hajela - NRC State Coordinator

 

UPDATE: 06 August 2019

 

While the Assam’s trans community is struggling to get their names on the National Register of Citizens (NRC), we want to remind the State Government to follow the Assam High Court’s 2018 directive to form a Transgender Welfare Board.

 

According to Assam Transgender Association Chief Swati Bidhan Baruah, the Transgender Welfare Board will help register the trans people living in the state. It will also try to track their family members and retrieve necessary documents such as Aadhaar card and PAN card among others.

 

According to journalists and trans working groups in Assam, this Board can also track the floating and closeted community of trans persons who are too scared to come out. Let’s face it -- the names not appearing in the NRC is the aftermath of not having a government body that can represent the demands and concerns of Assam’s trans community. This is the ideal opportunity for us to pressure Assam State Government to form the Trans Welfare Board at the earliest so that trans people don’t get left out of the NRC.

 

Sources: High Court orders state to set up welfare board to provide transgender people an ‘identity’ -- Guwahati Plus

 

DATE: 4 AUG 2019

 

“People who fail to have their names included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) are supposed to be marked as illegal immigrants, put in detention camps or deported.” 

 

While the rest of the country debates the morality of having a National Register of Citizens in the first place, the people of Assam face a real threat of violence if they don’t get their papers in order. The trans communities in Assam particularly face serious identity threats. 

 

According to the All Assam Transgender Association (AATA), not a single trans person has been included in the Register in their desired gender identity. We need to understand that it is not easy for trans people to have legacy and lineage documents as required by the NRC process in spite of being genuine citizens of India. 

 

Many trans people are thrown out of or leave their homes at a young age because of extreme family violence and no longer possess documents to establish their identity or linkage with their family. 

 

Many today have also change their assigned names and gender identities to desired ones as mandated by the Supreme Court's 2014 NALSA verdict, but these changes may not be reflected across all identity and citizenship documents. As a result, they may not fit in the conventional procedure for registration. 

 

The process for enlisting one’s name to the National Register of Citizen excludes trans people. That’s why you should ask Registrar General of India Mr. Vivek Joshi and the NRC State Coordinator Mr. Prateek Hajela to implement flexible measures so that trans persons are included in the final NRC.

 

The NRC authorities had earlier assured trans groups in Assam that they will look into a more flexible procedure that includes trans persons in the registration list. 

 

Yet, trans community leaders are running from pillar to post to ensure their names get on the approved list. Trans people are citizens like the rest of us. 

 

It’s 2019 and we need to acknowledge the trans rights movement in India has come a long way. Let’s support them today in their fight for dignity, inclusion and recognition as full citizens of India. Anything less would be disrespect to the Constitution of India itself!

 

Sources:

 

Interview | NRC Final Draft Is a Double Whammy for Assam's Transgender Community - The Wire

 

Multi-layered exclusions for trans persons in Assam NRC process - Varta Webzine

 

The many hurdles in proving citizenship - The Hindu



Next step - spread the word

While the rest of the country debates the morality of having a National Register of Citizens in the first place, the people of Assam face a real threat of violence if they don’t get their papers in order. The trans community in Assam particularly faces serious identity threats.

 

According to the All Assam Transgender Association (AATA), not a single transgender person has been included in the Register with their desired gender identity.

 

The process for enlisting one’s name to the National Register of Citizen excludes transgender people.

 

That’s why you should ask Registrar General of India Mr. Vivek Joshi and the NRC State Coordinator to implement flexible measure so that transgender persons are included in the final NRC.

 

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