Our society has been putting several efforts to bring progressive changes in favor of the transgender community. From issuing separate identity cards and restrooms for them to giving them equal job opportunities, things have certainly changed for good since the past few years.
In another step towards the betterment of the community, Odisha’s Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has come up with a new concept. They have started recruiting people from the transgender community to collect pending taxes in the state that amounts to around Rs. 11 crores, reports The Hindu.
The initiative is being promoted under ‘Tax dijiye, dua lijiye’ tagline. Accordingly, the civic body has recruited 10 members from the transgender community who go 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, they have managed to make a recovery of Rs 70,000. The squad will carry out this drive throughout the month and give its report to BMC. The salary of the squad will also depend on the amount of recovery they manage to fetch every month.
Accordingly, 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. Amount recovered over Rs 60 lakh will make the squad earn an incentive of 2% of the amount collected, reports India Today.
This initiative has left the transgender community overjoyed. Sharing the excitement, Meghna Sahu, a member of the transgender community and President of Swikriti said, “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.”
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.
Now that’s what we call ‘hitting two birds with one stone’. The initiative will not only help BMC to collect the pending taxes but also offer the transgenders a respectful job. What are your thoughts on the matter? Tell us!