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Union minister for social justice and empowerment Kumari Selja (http://www.constructionweekonline.in/article-6913-convert_housing_deficit_into_opportunity_ms_selja/)
Transsexual person leads the fight for third gender

in INDIA, 25/08/2013

A transsexual person from Vadodara may play a key role in the central government formulating a clear policy for sex-change operations in the country. So far, most government hospitals refuse to perform the procedure, forcing transsexual people to approach private hospitals which charge prohibitive amounts. But with a policy in place, the government will not be able to refuse performing the procedure.

Union minister for social justice and empowerment Kumari Selja met activists to discuss issues related to the third gender on August 13 with transsexual person from Vadodara, Anjali. It was decided to have a special consultation on August 23 with health and law ministry officials to pave the way for a policy.

Anjali's case was put before the minister because of her continuing fight to have the procedure done at the SSG Hospital. The government hospital has been turning her away since 2009 despite having performed a sex-change operation in 2005. "I am happy that the minister agreed to look into the issue," Anjali, who calls herself as a woman trapped in a man's body, told TOI.

Since childhood Anjali, now 26, used to do things in a 'girlish' way. As a high school student she started working with NGO Lakshya and understood the complex issues of her gender. Aware about the sex-change facility at SSG, she thought her surgery would be a smooth affair. But things turned awry when her case was sent to the ethics committee that referred it to the state health department and the Indian Council for Medical Research.

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