Expressing regret over the "discrimination and injustice" meted out to the transgender community, Mr Athawale said men and women have their rights, and the transgenders should get theirs.
"A bill has also come in 2016. That bill has been sent to the standing committee. Very soon, the Government of India, the government of Narendra Modi, will pass that bill to give you your rights," the minister for social justice and empowerment said.
He was speaking at a national workshop on 'Developing Modules for Sensitising Transgender People and Stakeholders', organised at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD and PR) in Hyderabad.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, which seeks to define transgenders and prohibit discrimination against them, was introduced in the Lok Sabha last year.
It was referred to the parliamentary standing committee on social justice and empowerment for examination and report.
Stressing on the importance of education for the welfare of transgenders, he favoured giving reservation in jobs to this community.
WR Reddy, the director general of NIRD and PR, said the workshop has been organised to understand and take "baby steps" towards the welfare of transgenders.
Leaders of the transgender community, who spoke on the occasion, narrated the "discrimination and agony" they had to face in their lives.