Are India’s Netas Finally Changing with Time? NCP Has a New Cell Dedicated to Empowerment of LGBT Community

Politics

Are India’s Netas Finally Changing with Time? NCP Has a New Cell Dedicated to Empowerment of LGBT Community

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Gender equality is a constant struggle in India. And every step matters. In a welcome move, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party set up a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) cell.

NCP leader and transgender activist Priya Patil has been appointed the head of the LGBT cell’s Maharashtra unit. She said that the party would work to ensure that members of the queer community get all their due rights. Equality and employment for the community is a top priority, according to her.

Apart from Priya Patil, the cell will be operated by 13 office bearers.

“The NCP was the first to set up Yuvati (young women) cell. Now, it has set up LGBT cell to do justice to the deprived section,” Maharashtra minister and state NCP chief Jayant said as he announced the formation of the cell at the party office in Mumbai on Monday.

NCP Lok Sabha member Supriya Sule, who was present at the function, said that the

The LGBT community needs equal rights and hence a separate cell was formed for them. “The purpose of this cell is to solve the problems of the gay community and integrate it into the mainstream society,” she added.

The NCP claimed that it is the first party to establish an LGBT cell. However, this is inaccurate. A report in The Print pointed out that the Kerala unit of the Congress started its transgender wing.

Yet, this is a big step toward gender empowerment. Our politicians often have conservative mindsets and the NCP’s new LGBT cell means more inclusion for a community that is often sidelined in our society.

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