Transgenders on Tuesday moved closer to getting reservation in employment and education in public sector with the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) recommending their inclusion in the central list of the OBCs.
The NCBC's decision comes against the backdrop of a Supreme Court order, which has directed the Centre and state Governments to treat the transgenders as socially and educationally backward classes to extend reservation in admission in educational institutions and for public appointments.
The matter will now go to the Union Cabinet which will be required to approve the recommendation to enable the 'Third Gender' to avail of the benefits.
"The Commission today unanimously passed a resolution to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court and decided to recommend to the Centre to include transgenders in the OBC list. Irrespective of their community background, all transgenders can avail beneifits under the OBC list," NCBC member SK Kharventhan said.
Though the actual number of transgenders in the country is not available, electoral roll date of the Election Commission of India states that a total number of 23,019 people have registered themselves under "Others" category.
NCBC, functioning under the aegis of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, received a letter from the ministry seeking to look into the directions of the apex court. The Commission's role comes into play since NCBC advice is necessary to include a community in the OBC list.
Invoking articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution, NCBC sources said that the communities set-out in the Supreme Court judgement are entitled to be added in the OBC list.
The SC on April 15 had held that the rights of transgenders, also known as Hijras, Eunuchs, Kothis, Aravanis, Jogappas, Shiv-Shakthis etc, have to be protected as they are citizens of the country and having all rights under the Constitution like the male or the female have.