Kerala government is set to launch the project “Sakalyam”. The project will focus on the skill development needs of the trans community in Kerala. The project has been initiated by Kerala’s Social Justice Department and will be headed by Kerala Youth Leadership Academy (KYLA) that is chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The government explained that due to the absence of acceptance for trans people most people within the community grow up estranged from their families. A survey conducted by the government before launching the scheme revealed that 51% of trans people have to part ways with their families after they come out. This creates a situation where they are struggling to make ends meet and become vulnerable to exploitation.
The scheme aims to solve this issue by empowering trans people by training them in different skills of their own choosing.Karthik Gopal, KYLA’s project officer has clarified that people can apply for the programme online. The project is aiming to train 140 trans people by the end of this year. It’s a part of the PRISM initiative of the government which is a comprehensive inclusion programme undertaken by the government.
The State Government has sanctioned a budget of ₹25.2 lakhs for the project starting this fiscal year. If a government institution wishes to offer this scheme needs to submit an expression of interest for the same. interest for the same.
The Kerala Government has, in the past, taken steps to improve the hiring rate of trans people in the government sector. This new initiative too has the potential to increase the employability of trans people. However, it is slippery slope. This scheme along with another scholarship for trans people, both focus on picking out and uplifting specifically the “most deserving people” in the community. This creates a window for a hierarchy formation and it is possible that these schemes end up benefiting only that part of the trans community that has had access to better resources due to economic and caste privileges.