In a landmark decision on Wednesday, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the National Health Authority (NHA) under the Union Health Ministry and the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment to provide an inclusive and composite health package for transgender persons under Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya hailed the MoU as one of its kind in the country which will give impetus to ensuring a rightful and respectable place for the transgender community by accessing healthcare services under AB-PMJAY.
“This MoU has laid the foundation for a landmark transformational reform in the society. The move which provides special healthcare benefits to the transgender community goes beyond ensuring equality for the disadvantaged community”, Mandaviya said.
Noting that the transgender community suffers stigma and exclusion, he stressed that the provisioning of healthcare services under AB-PMJAY is a significant step towards an inclusive society. “It is only apt that the MoU is being signed at Dr Ambedkar International Centre today, as he championed for an inclusive society with equality across all population groups in the country”, Mandaviya stated.
Mandaviya emphasized that the government is working in a decisive way to not only recognize the rights of the transgender community but has taken various steps for their welfare. He congratulated the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment for taking several initiatives for the transgender community, be it “The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019”, Garima Greh, PM Daksh program or other schemes/initiatives taken recently.
Urging all sections of society to join hands in the efforts of the government for an inclusive society under the vision of ‘New India’ of the Prime Minister, he stated that “Disadvantaged communities can progress with dignity and self reliance with collaboration of “Sarkar and Society”.
Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar said that transformative change is happening in the country with a strong political will to implement this change. He enumerated several steps taken by MoSJE for implementing a package of five assurances: Education, Life with dignity, Health support, Opportunities for livelihood and Skill Enhancement.
These steps have been taken to ensure that marginalised and disadvantaged sections of the population can emerge from restrictive social constructs by providing them a dignified life and livelihood, he stated.
The MoU was signed by Dr R S Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority (NHA) and R Subramanyam, Secretary, Department of Social Justice & Empowerment.