New Delhi, Oct 30: The reservation form of Railways will soon have a ‘Transgender’ option besides Male and Female. The ticket booking and cancellation forms will be modified from the current option of ‘Transgender (Male/Female)’ to just ‘T’, informed Railway Board in a letter to all zonal railways.
As per the letter, the social justice and empowerment ministry at present is dealing with different issues of transgender people and in this regard, a proposed legislation —The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 — is being reviewed by a parliamentary standing committee.
As per the letter dated October 17, Ministry of Social Justice will finalise the matter and currently, a provision may be made in the system to capture the gender of transgender as ‘T’ instead of ‘T(M/F)’ as advised earlier.
In 2014, the Supreme Court of India granted third gender status to Transgenders. Earlier, they had to mention male or female in gender column. Following the orders of Apex Court, many government documents such as passport, ration card, bank forms and voter identity cards have started providing ‘TG’ (third gender), ‘Other’ or ‘T’ (transgender) as options.
In 2016, railways introduced the option as ‘T(M/F)’ through an order, which, activists said, still forced them to choose between the binary genders — male or female.
In its review, the Railway Board said it took directions of Kolkata High Court into consideration which had asked SBI to make the option of third gender visible in its recruitment form for new employees. Atri Kar, a transgender from West Bengal, sought court’s intervention to enforce her right to participate in the selection process of SBI as a transgender.
The Railway Board also said that the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Railways, will make necessary changes in the software for giving the option of transgender (T) alongside the option of M/F in the passenger railway system under intimation to all zonal railways, the letter said.