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Pandemic Rendering the Transgender People More Vulnerable, as If It Was Not Already Enough: A Qualitative Exploration from Odisha, India
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted people's livelihoods worldwide to an unprecedented magnitude, the most affected being the socially and economically disadvantaged and marginalized communities, including the transgender people that constitute one of the most vulnerable sections that are often subjected to discriminated in various sectors such as education, health, housing, and livelihood opportunities. The present study attempts to offer insights into the impact of the pandemic on the livelihood of transgender people in India, given that the pandemic adversely affected their primary sources of livelihood, such as begging, sex-work, singing, and dancing, due mainly to the restrictive measures: lockdown, shutdown, social/physical distancing, etc., imposed by government authorities to curb the spread of the virus, in turn depriving them of their livelihood choices and rendering them even more vulnerable. This study draws from twelve transgender respondents in the city of Bhubaneswar, India recruited through the snowball method and uses thematic analysis of qualitative data obtained through telephonic interviews. The study finds that the pandemic-induced measures have negatively affected the lives and livelihood of transgender people during this time of crisis. Despite the government’s sustained efforts in providing temporary livelihood options and monetary supports during the crisis, the transgender people continued to remain marginalized. Approaches to making them self-sufficient over a longer term and empowering them financially would have been of more significant impact.
transgender people, COVID-19, social distancing, livelihood, case study
The authors would like to acknowledge the support from the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, and Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, India.
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Recommended APA Citation
Rout, P. P., Mathur, A., & Swain, P. K. (2023). Pandemic Rendering the Transgender People More Vulnerable, as If It Was Not Already Enough: A Qualitative Exploration from Odisha, India. The Qualitative Report, 28(5), 1290-1305. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2023.5884
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