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Aizwal: Mizoram’s apex civil society organisation Young Mizo Association (YMA) has strongly opposed the proposed construction of a shelter home for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or those questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation) and intersex (LGBTQI) community in the state, a top leader of the organisation said on Monday.

The state urban development and poverty alleviation (UD&PA) department had on December 6 issued a notice inviting tender for the construction of a shelter home for the LGBTQI community at Sakawrtuichhun on the western outskirts of the state capital Aizawl. 

Leaders of the central committee of the Young Mizo Association or Central YMA on Monday met chief minister Zoramthanga and urged him to cancel the project, the organisation president R. Lalngheta said. 

“We request the chief minister to cancel the project as setting up a shelter home for the LGBTQI community is unsafe and not acceptable for the Mizo society as of now,” Lalgheta said.

Zoramthanga assured them that the project would be cancelled and he will discuss the matter with deputy chief minister Tawnluia, who also holds the UD&PA portfolio, he said. 

Meanwhile, UD&PA director H. Liazela said that the project is being initiated as per the directive of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and not from the state government end. 

He said that the NHRC in July 2021 had requested all states to comply with its mandate to construct shelter homes for the LGBTQI community based on the recommendation of the core group on LGBTQI.

“It is not a stand-alone project of the state government. Rather the project is being taken up as per the NHRC mandate based on the recommendation of the core committee,” he said.  

Lianzela said that the project sanctioning committee of the UD&PA department in May this year had sanctioned the construction of a special shelter home for the LGBTQI community under the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NLUM) after the management of blessing home (a de-addiction Centre) at Sakawrtuichhun, which sought for shelter home, agreed to construct the project at their area.  

Rs 40 lakh, which the UD&PA department received as an incentive for its outstanding performance under NLUM,  has been earmarked for the project, he said. 

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