Transgenders or Hijras, as they are known in India, dressed in neatly pleated saris, have the attention of commuters at a traffic signal, like always. But in this campaign they are trading their blessings for seat belts:
Hijras, who can be eunuchs, intersex or transgender, have been part of South Asia’s culture for thousands of years. Eunuchs are celebrated in sacred Hindu texts such as the Mahabharata and the Kama Sutra. They also enjoyed influential positions in the Mughal courts. But During the era of the British Raj, the community’s fortunes changed, with the disgusted colonists passing a law in 1897 classing all eunuchs as criminals. Such a recommendation to a film from 2007 to understand their situation today – the Full Version on YouTube in 5 parts (German):
The criminalisation of homosexual acts was declared unconstitutional by the High Court of Delhi in 2009. Unfortunately India’s Supreme Court re-criminalized homosexuality and bisexuality in December 2013. But in April 2014 the same Supreme Court of India ruled that transgender people would be recognised on official documents under a seperate “thirdgender” category. This means that now, for the first time, there are quotas of government jobs and college places for Hijras. Incredible India!