Mental health and wellbeing of transgenders in India- Understanding how resilience is built
Transgenders and mental health
The transgender community in India is highly vulnerable to mental and physical illness, in large part due to limited economic opportunities, forcing many of them to engage in sex work and begging. Traditionally they were having special powers which conferred religious authority to transwomen and their blessings were sought at weddings and births.
However, over time, the stigmatization, prejudice, and mistreatment of transgenders has increased. The situation is further exacerbated by the law, which makes it almost impossible for them to vote, own property, or obtain official identification and documentation, such as a passport or driver’s license. Until recently the colonial law in India (Section 377 of the Penal Code) had criminalized homosexuality; it was decriminalized in 2018 and the Transgender Protection of Rights Bill was finally passed by parliament in 2019. Despite these political shifts, social stigmatization against them continues to be pervasive in Indian society and they are subject to a great deal of prejudice, social exclusion, violence and hatred.
The Focus Area
Studies have clearly indicated that there is a pressing need to address both physical and mental health among gender-diverse communities for:
- Improving awareness of their healthcare rights
- Removing social and structural barriers to health programs
- Increasing targeted health interventions, grassroot level activism, and government advocacy
Resilience Among Transgenders
A few studies have demonstrated that despite facing many hardships in their day-to-day life, transgenders have built resilience skills capitalizing on assets available to them (such as the gharana tradition) and have been able to use it to overcome the many challenges that they face.
Happening on 29th October 2021 | 12pm to 2pm IST
Celebrating world mental health month celebrations, The George Institute in collaboration with Kolkata Rista would like to invite you to a webinar on the Mental health and wellbeing of transgenders in India – understanding how resilience is built.
The George Institute for Global Health – We are a leading independent medical research institute established in India in 2007. Our mission is to improve the health of millions of people in India through the generation of high-quality evidence using discovery and implementation research. Our work plays particular emphasis on the use of innovative approaches to prevent and treat the common causes of premature death and disability and promoting all-round equity in health.
Kolkata Rista – We are a transgender community-based organization that has, over the last 16 years, worked in four states of India for the protection of rights and welfare of various people of non-normative sexual orientation and gender identity.