The State government on Friday launched ‘Mythri’, a pension scheme for sexuality minorities that will provide each of them an allowance of Rs. 500 per month. It will also make them eligible for other welfare schemes such as BPL card, health and housing schemes, said Revenue Minister V. Srinivas Prasad.
The pension scheme is aimed at mainstreaming members of the sexuality community, who face discrimination. Officials have been directed to identify beneficiaries. Future plans include providing jobs to sexuality minorities. The allowance may be increased to Rs. 1,000 to bring it on a par with that given by the Tamil Nadu government, Mr. Prasad added.
However, shortly after the launch, activists led by the Karnataka Sexual Minorities’ Forum protested outside the venue alleging “complete lack of clarity” on the scheme. They said that the Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore Urban district has distributed leaflets saying people in the age group of 18-64 are eligible whereas the government order puts the minimum age for eligibility at 40.
They also took exception to members of the community being addressed as Mangalamukhis. Akkai Padmashali of Sangama said that the term is derogatory and excludes certain sections of the community. The community wants the government to refer to them as gender minorities, she said.
District in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy said that the government will also provide loans to sexuality minorities who are keen on self-employment.
Others present at the launch included Social Welfare Minister H. Anjaneya and Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore Urban district G.C. Prakash.