Transgender-run menstrual cup manufacturing unit coming up in Bihar

NewsDrum Desk
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Patna, Jan 31 (PTI) A unit to manufacture menstrual cups, reusable containers to collect period fluid, is coming up in the Bihar capital, which will be operated exclusively by transgender people, as part of endeavours aiming to improve the socio-economic condition of the community.

The other such moves put forward by an NGO include setting up canteens in offices and establishing laser treatment centres to remove unwanted hair in every district of the state.

“All these initiatives are meant to generate employment for transgender people. These centres will be run by transgenders only. But anyone can buy the products or services offered,” said Reshma Prasad, founder-secretary of the NGO, Dostanasafar.

According to the 2011 Census, the population of transgenders in Bihar is 40,827.

The state government has provided land to Dostanasafar near Gandhi Maidan for setting up the menstrual cup manufacturing unit.

“We raised funds through crowdfunding and constructed the building on our own. Now, we are exploring options to collect funds for purchasing manufacturing machines. We have approached the state government also,” Prasad told PTI.

Prasad, who served as a member of the state Transgender Welfare Board, said this will probably be the first menstrual cup manufacturing unit in the state.

Menstrual cups are small, flexible, funnel-shaped devices made of rubber or silicone which are inserted in women's private parts during periods. Cups can hold more blood than other methods, making them economical.

One laser treatment centre is already functional in a transgender community hostel on the outskirts of Patna, said Prasad, also a member of the National Council for Transgender Persons (NCTP) in Delhi, a statutory body of the central government.

A proposal has also been made to set up 'Kinnar ki Rasoi', canteens to be run by transgenders, in various offices across the state.

Prashant Kumar C H, Director of the Directorate of Social welfare-cum-Empowerment of Persons with Disability, told PTI: “The state government has taken several welfare measures for improving the socio-economic condition of the transgender people. As far as fresh proposals are concerned, the department is examining them”.

Bihar has already paved the way for the recruitment of transgender people in the state police force and other departments and clubbed them with the Other Backward Class (OBC) category to enable them to access reservation benefits, he said.

“Our only problem is we don't have social acceptability. These initiatives will provide employment opportunities and open new ways for a dignified life for the community people,” Prasad said.

Any attempt to improve the socio-economic condition of people belonging to the community should be appreciated, transgender activist Abhina Aher said.

“The government must come in support of these initiatives. We will soon organise a Udyog Mela for the transgender people in New Delhi in association with certain ministries,” Aher said.

The state government must ensure that people belonging to this community get equal opportunities in every field, said Vidyarthi Vikas, Assistant Professor at A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies (Patna).

Right from imparting quality education to creating job opportunities for this community should be the priority of the government, he said.

"A caste-based survey is going on in the state. The Bihar government must ensure that they (transgenders) are counted properly. And on the basis of the survey, the government must plan welfare measures for them,” Vidyarthi said. PTI PKD NN NN