Let’s Fight The Fat And The Stigma The Kerala Way

Scheming The ProgressivenessKerala, a state known and toured for its picturesque scenery and extensively for its Parotta, has been in the news recently for its newly-inducted laws. We all have our thoughts as per the latest Fat Tax the government of the state has decided to implement. Though it’s a hard hit to all the savored establishments, as they are known for being pocket friendly; it’s a very clever scheme assuring great revenue for the state by the government, and also in reducing obesity.

According to the National Health Survey report, obesity among children is rapidly rising in Kerala and the state stands second in India after Punjab in child obesity

It might also help in curbing the dependency the young kids have on these international junk eatery chains, who are swiftly and in mass, are substituting it for the wholesome meal cooked in the households. And if not now, they will soon bear the hazardous impact of these consumptions they heartily and heavily devour.

However, it isn’t the only law that has made the budget of Kerala ‘talk of the town’. Taking a very progressive and socially inclusive approach, the Kerala government has also announced a pension scheme for people aged 60 years and more. This announcement makes Kerala the second state to have a welfare scheme for transgenders after Odisha. State Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Issac made the proposal in the budget for 2016-17, presented in the Assembly as part of brining the marginalized to the forefront of the society, however not specifying the quantum of the pension.

It is a laudable bid that the government has taken towards helping and accepting the third gender, who are consciously prejudiced against in their everyday lives. This stance must come as a breather to the community; however hard their life must be, at least their old and the crumbling age won’t bear the burn or the apparent ‘misfortune’ of belonging to the third gender. This budget wishes to express solidarity with the people in the third gender group

The Finance Minister also said that the government would provide financial assistance to transgender students, who drop out in mass due to the oppression and the bullying faced by them. Due to the stigma and the stereotypes attached, young kids are somehow forced to leave school, abandoning their education and thirst for knowledge in the process.

The State government has also made the recent decision to provide jobs reservation for transgenders in the Kochi metro rail project. Also, the government would extend financial assistance to NGO’s which work among the transgender community by Rs.10 crore.

Such progressive laws has been lauded across the country by the lawmakers and the activists and people sympathizing with the community. It is a great step for finally giving a hand to the community who are way too down in the abyss. It is no surprise that such progressive step should be taken by states across the country, which is a minor but a crucial step for their empowerment.

They have been ridiculed, judged and abused all their lives by the fellow citizens of our oh-so-noble country. A country whose Preamble promises freedom to live and to decide which course in life to take, however forgetting to put the little asterix (*) that signifies the presence of terms and conditions.

Traumatized due to the gender they possess and are born with, the stand taken by the Kerala government is commendable and highly progressive.

Progressive enough to give them a shot for thriving not just surviving, and a stand that enables them the chance to get educated and aim for better well-established lives that they have been denied of. So long.

Yugansha Malhotra

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The Viewspaper