India’s first transgender co-ops announced in Kerala state

The move was announced at the state co-operative congress in Kannur

Co-operative societies are to be set up for the transgender community in the Indian state of Kerala.

The move was announced at the state’s eighth Co-operative Congress, hosted in the city of Kannur last weekend.

Kadakampally Surendran, minister for co-operation in the Kerala state government, said the decision would help push forward welfare schemes to improve the social status of transgender people, help them find self-employment and become independent.

Minister for co-operation Kadakampally Surendran (Photo: abhijith)

He said financial aid, including grants, for the transgender community will be dispensed through co-operative societies – the first formed anywhere in India for the transgender community.

The first societies will be created in districts that would be able to muster the necessary number of members to meet the requirements of the Cooperatives Societies Act.

This is the first time the congress has been held in Kannur, which is seen as a hub for co-operative activity in the state, on India’s south-western Malabar coast.

Co-ops in the city cover a wide range of areas, from poultry farms to dialysis units offered to patients at subsidised rates, which organisers made it ideal for the this year’s event which looked at ways to diversify the movement into new areas of activity.

General convenor C Gireesan said: “The co-operative sector cannot move ahead with the credit system alone and hence we have to diversify into more fields.”

Organisers said there was no co-op policy for Kerala even though the state has a strong sector. It was hoped the 3,000 delegates attending the conference could contribute to a policy which will eventually serve as a model for the whole of India.


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