Transgender rights activists have asked for the hamper to be provided to those who have authorised transgender identity cards

As many transgender people in the State do not have ration cards, members of the community have requested Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswai to provide the Pongal gift of ₹2,500 to those who have approved transgender ID cards.

Rakshika Raj, a transgender rights activist, has written a letter to the Chief Minister seeking the Pongal gift, which is being provided to ration card holders across the State. “Many of us do not have smart [ration] cards. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government provided ₹1,000 relief to transgender persons who have an authorised identity card. A similar process can be followed now too,” said Ms. Rakhika, a nurse in the city.

She requested the Chief Minister to help members of the transgender community to get their consumer smart cards quickly. “Many transgender people, especially the aged, have been impacted by the pandemic. This ₹2,500 will be of great help to them,” she added.

R. Jeeva, founder, Transgender Rights Association, charged that many transgender persons were not able to get the smart cards . “There is a huge delay in getting the card. Due to this, we are forced to spend ₹3,000 on groceries alone every month. Many are struggling,” she said. Since many families have abandoned transgender persons, they are not able to get identity proof. “We cannot go ask our parents for the proof as they will not give it to us,” added Ms. Jeeva.

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