A eunuch is a person whose gender identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female roles and has a dysfunctional male or female reproductive system.
They are thrown out of their own homes by their parents who cannot bear the taunts of relatives and friends. They are a deprived class, yet shunned by everyone.
Eunuchs were in charge of harems, a lucrative and prestigious job, until the advent of the British 200 years ago. To add insult to injury, they were included in 1897 in the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871. This entailed a compulsory daily attendance at the local police station, as well as obtaining police permission if they ever wanted to travel out of town. Even our late PM, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru expressed his shame at this Act, which was repealed in 1952, without making much of a dent in the wretched conditions of this miserable lot.
When we took up the matter of issuance of voter identity cards, bonded labour, voluntary castration, population census data and several other issues – we were surprised to find that the matter of eunuchs has never been officially marked by the President of India under 1st Schedule to the Govt. of India (Allocation of Business Rules), 1961 to any ministry. Therefore during the 65 years of existence of our nation, no action of any sort has been taken by any ministry for eunuchs.
Eunuchs are resigned to their fate and take this in their stride. What is much harder to bear is the attitude of loathing and disgust of their fellow males/females, for no fault of theirs.
It is high time that some ministry made responsible for addressing their horrendous problems. Since issues pertaining to eunuchs are varied and are often related to disparate ministries, e.g. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Child Welfare, Women’s Empowerment, Health, Labour etc., a parliamentary sub-committee may be necessary in order to treat all issues in a common forum.
Our organisation, Salvation Of Oppressed Eunuchs, through its PIL no. 01/2012 in the Bombay High Court, has petitioned for the provision of some much needed succour for this hapless community. The Hon’ble Court, vide order dtd. 13.04.12 has permitted us to approach the concerned authority, pending the disposal of the case, to look into the matter and redress the grievances of eunuchs.
Some of our key achievements are:
- Documented the plight of the Eunuch community in a 55 minutes video "...Aur Neha Nahi Bik Payee"
- Published a detailed book on the lifestyle of the Eunuch Community, "Life of a Eunuch"
- Assigning a department or Ministry of the Government of India to look into cases related to Eunuchs
- Government of India clarifies that the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment would
handle all queries related to Eunuchs
- Transgender would be added as an option to Census data and other official documents
- Inclusion of Eunuchs in the Electoral Voting List and giving them a right to vote
- Special Committee set up by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment to look into
the various problems faced by the Eunuch communities.
- Meetings with the ministers to abolish the practice of 'leti' or bonded labour
- 'Chelas' have the right to leave their 'Guru' without paying a huge sum of money.
- Standing Panel of Doctors to examine persons willing to undergo any Sex Reassignment Surgery
- Google awarding an Ad Grant worth $10,000 USD towards our charitable institution.
- Influential opinion on proposed "Transgender persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2015" in the parliament.
- Opening of Bank accounts and other formalities
- Issuance of Passport / Adhaar card etc with "Other/Third gender" in sex category