Panaji: After his controversial remarks over the LGBT community drew flak, Goa Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar today did a u-turn over the issue saying he was misunderstood and misquoted on the issue.
"I was misunderstood and misquoted. I was not talking about the LGBT (youths) but about drug addicted and sexually abused youths," Tawadkar told PTI, even as local channels continued to air the footage where he assured medical treatment to make LGBT youths "normal".
"Youth policy speaks about drug addicted youths and sexually abused youths as a focused group. There are provisions in the central government sponsored Social Justice Scheme for such youths which can be implemented in Goa," the minister said, a day after he was widely criticized for his statements.
He said when journalists asked me about LGBTs, I told them "I am not expert on the issue."
The minister also refused to acknowledge LGBT as a focused group, though the youth policy document which is currently in public domain has mentioned them as one.
"We will make them normal. We will have a centre for them. Like Alcoholic Anonymous centres, we will have centres. We will train them and give them medicines too," the minister had said.
"Like in the case of other target groups such as juvenile offenders, drug afflicted youth, marginalized or migrant youth, geographically disadvantaged youth, a detailed survey would be carried out among state LGBT community, so that their problems could be specifically addressed," he had added.