India has been making steady progress in bringing the transgender community to the forefront by implementing progressive policies. They have been issued separate identity cards and have also been given equal job opportunities. Well, it seems like the future is bright and inclusive.
In yet another initiative, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Odisha has started recruiting people from the transgender community to collect pending taxes in the state that amounts to around Rs. 11 crores. The initiative is being promoted under the tagline, Tax dijiye, dua lijiye. BMC has recruited ten members from the transgender community who have been going from door to door, insisting and convincing people to pay taxes. Dressed in uniforms, the squad is making people pay taxes using POS machines.
On day one itself, the members managed to make a recovery of Rs 70,000. The squad will carry out this drive throughout the month and will submit a report to BMC. The salary of the squad will also depend on the amount of recovery they manage to fetch every month.
If the amount recovered is Rs. 40 lakh a month, 1% of it will be paid to the group. If the amount recovered is in between 40 lakh to 60 lakh, the squad will receive an incentive of 1.5% of the total amount. And if it is over Rs 60 lakh then the squad will earn 2% of the amount they have recovered.
The initiative has been widely accepted by the transgender community. "I am thankful to BMC and state government for giving us the opportunity to carry out this noble work and earn a living for ourselves. This also brings us to the mainstream," said Meghna Sahu, a member of the community.
In an interview with a leading daily, Surath Chandra, Additional Commissioner of BMC spoke in detail about the initiative and said, "We have engaged a self-help group of transgender for collection of tax dues. The modality of the arrangement between us is that we will pay them the returns of their labor in the form of incentives on the basis of the total amount collected."
"They have also been provided with an Identity card that gives them the dignity they deserve. It is for the first time that this practice has been introduced on the directives of our BMC Commissioner. This is also a form of a pilot project, if we succeed, the model will be replicated in other districts too", he added.
Members of the trans community are getting the dignity of a good job and are being included in the society and the BMC is being able to collect taxes too! We absolutely love this clever initiative and are hoping more cities follow it too.
Featured Image: India Today
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