By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, May 31, 2021: Odisha carved out a niche for itself by taking the lead in deciding to set up a dedicated ward for inmates belonging to the transgender community at Jharpada special jail here. In the second phase, such facilities will be extended to other circle, district and special jails in the state.

The prisons directorate said the move is aimed at safeguarding the human rights issues of transgender inmates, who had been facing inconvenience in jails. At present, the Jharpada jail authorities keep transgender inmates in single cells, which are actually meant for history-sheeters. Jharpada currently has 10 single cells.

“It is quite risky and unsafe to keep the transgender inmates with male or female inmates. So we have decided to set up a 10-bed ward exclusively for the transgender community. The ward will be constructed in a segregated place on the premises of Jharpada special jail and have no links with either the male and female wards,” director general (prisons directorate and correctional services) Santosh Kumar Upadhyay said. The transgender ward will have separate washroom blocks, hall and reading room for such inmates.

Currently, the Jharpada jail has no transgender inmates. The jail often received such under trial prisoners following their arrests in connection with theft in trains and stations, extortion and prostitution cases, the jail sources said.

“We welcome such a reform in the jail. Some of our community members were arrested and lodged in Jharpada jail some years ago. They were mentally and sexually abused by some notorious prisoners. The dedicated ward for transgender inmates will now ensure their safety,” said Kajal, a transgender leader.

The prisons directorate has also decided to have a dedicated ward for elderly under trial prisoners and convicts at Jharpada special jail.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of