THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: All the new prisons coming up in the state, including the high-security one in Thrissur, will have separate blocks for transgenders. The prisons department is also exploring the possibility of setting up separate blocks for transgenders in the existing central prisons.
DGP Prisons, Loknath Behera, said that the decision to set up separate blocks for transgenders was taken as the government had decided to recognise transgenders as a third gender other than male and female.
“At present, we have only male and female blocks. The physical requirements of transgenders are different and hence provisions for them should also be provided,” he said.
While there are no transgenders in any of the prisons in the state as per official figures, sources in the prison department said that there could be a few transgenders among the 7,200-odd prison inmates.
The facility for about ten would be made at the transgender block at the high-security prison at Viyyur. In the new prison coming up in Alappuzha, there will be facility for five; Pathanamthitta six; Malampuzha five and Malappuram ten.
As per a recent survey in Kerala, there are 4,000 transgenders in the state, though according to rough estimates, there are 25,000.
Even while welcoming the decision to have separate blocks in the prisons, the forum of transgenders said that there were many other sectors where transgenders req-uired reservations.
“There should befacilities for transgenders in public places like bus stands, cinema theatres and banks. Also loan schemes should be offered by banks,” said Sexual Minority Forum secretary Seethal Shyam.