Transgender activist Chandramukhi filed a police complaint on Monday after posters surfaced in various parts of Hyderabad, inappropriately connecting the transgender community with the novel coronavirus.
The posters, which appeared in Ameerpet, Banjara Hills Road No 12, Madhapur and Masab Tank areas, stated that the transgenders in India are infected with coronavirus, and so, they should not be allowed to talk in public.
“If you talk to transgenders, you will get infected by coronavirus,” read these posters.
According to Chandramukhi, the posters also advised people to dial 100, if they found any transgender approach a shop.
“Finally, I have filed a complaint with Banjara Hills Police station,” she said.
#Transphobic Posters at Ameerpet Metro Station reads:— Meera Sanghamitra (@meeracomposes) March 29, 2020
“Warning: Do not allow Kojja, Hijras near the shops. If you talk to them or have sex with them, you will be infected with #CoronaVirus. Beat & drive them away or call 100 immediately. Save people from Corona Virus Hijras". pic.twitter.com/21HP5YBDSp
Living on the margins of society, transgender people in the country have been left at the heightened risk of poverty and ill health after the Centre announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Chandramukhi said that though some NGOs have come forward to help, the government needs to do more.
Anindya Hajra, a transgender activist, had told Reuters last week that India's estimated 2 million trans people would be among those worst hit by the move because many make their living on the streets.
“Transgender community is vulnerable because of lack of food security, housing, steady income, access to health and sanitation facilities. A high prevalence of HIV infection makes the community more susceptible to coronavirus and the culture of community living has created a situation of danger,” read a letter sent by a group of transgender activists to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.