Unmarried transgender children of Odisha government pensioners will be eligible to get family pension permissible to the spouse and children of an employee or pensioner who died after January 10, 2020, the Odisha government decided on Monday.
According to the change to the Odisha Civil Service (Pension) Rules, 1992 cleared by the state cabinet, a single transgender child of a government servant/ pensioner who died on or after January 10, 2020, will be treated as an unmarried daughter in case there is no other elder unmarried daughter or disabled unmarried daughter for the purpose of family pension.However, the transgender child must be above the age of 25 years and must be wholly dependent on the government servant/ pensioner. The OCS (Pension) Rules did not have any provision that covered transpeople earlier.
The state government’s move to amend the pension rules come nine months after the Orissa high court ordered payment of family pension to a transgender person as per provisions meant for unmarried daughters of deceased employees.
In this verdict, the high court ordered that the government pay the family pension of a trans child of a government employee in the rural development department in Rayagada district, holding that she had every right to choose her gender.
After the death of the government employee Balaji Kondagiri, his wife Binjama was sanctioned a family pension. When Binjama died in July 2020, Kantaro, who is unmarried, applied for the family pension. Though it was sanctioned in Kantaro’s favour, the principal accountant general of Odisha act on the sanction order leading to the court case.
In 2021, the Odisha government issued an equal opportunity policy for transgenders to ensure that no opportunity is denied to transpersons.
In June this year, Odisha police allowed transgenders to apply for the post of sub-inspectors while the revenue and disaster management department opened its doors to transpersons for the post of revenue inspector. So far 26 transpersons have applied for the post of sub-inspector in Odisha police while around 20 applied for the post of revenue inspector. Around 40 transgenders are working in the urban development department in the state.