After a long time it happened to come across an advertisement (advertisement of 17th May given by Punjab Public Service Commission)where the gender specifications include not only the male and female but also the most rejected and ignored segment of society and that is “She-male”.
But the question is that would a transgender be preferred (in local words “A Khusra”)
to be employed without any discrimination or would he be given same respect and dignity that other employees have. The answer is definitely “No”.
In the roaring sea of people this is the most tolerant class of society. After their birth they come across this bitter reality that in country with the area spreading millions of yards, they would not be having some square feet earth to live without prejudice and biasness. We really acknowledge the freedom movements of Kashmiris, Syrians, Iraqis and many more but what about the fight which the transgender people have been fighting for several years-fight for their rights. They are bereaved of theirthose rights which are regarded as “Basic” or “Fundamental” for a “Human Being” and human being definitely doesn’t include only Male and Female.
The government, sleeping bureaucracy and so called liberal and educated people has failed to bring any reform regarding their status in society.
They are not admissions in schools and colleges, they are not employed in any public or private firm, and they are not allowed to be entered in sacred places, even their identity is not accepted, in spite of having Pakistan as their birth place, identity cards are not issued to them.
Even they are not entertained at hospitals and health care centers. Subject to extensive prostitution, they have become the victims of AIDS and die in pitiable condition. These people are only confined to humiliating jobs such as begging and prostitution.
They have to render their bodies to the lurking looters only for a minimal amount of Rs: 50 per night in order to make their survival possible on the earth. Their subsistence is highly dependent upon the occasions and functions and there too intrusion of our so-called “Body Guards” (Police: who actually become the guards of their body) is another burgeoning problem.
They arrest them for the whole of night and leave after raping and assaulting sexually.
I have come across various interviews and news headlines which depicts that in the present era most of them are graduate but still kept out of the job market. Out of hundreds and thousands of companies, government bodies and private sector organizations, hardly one or two dare to accept their right to be hired but the matter of their recruitment and their inclusion in the staff still remains a piece of discrimination.
Talking about only Lahore, out of the total population 80,000 is transgender and among them 50,000 is engaged in prostitution. In Peshawar this community consists of over the population of 500 transgender and 20% of them are succumbed to HIV/AIDS. Most of them are surviving in deplorable condition knowing that selling sex would lead them to ultimate death.
But they are helpless in this matter as they have nothing to sell or exchange other than sex.
From a lay man to influential political figures including rickshaw drivers, students, workers and unemployed persons are engaged in intercourse with Khwaja Saras. The agenda of their rights has never been discussed in country’s parliament, assembly and even in United Nations. Their voices have never been given serious consideration. Although some private organizations are working for their rights but their proportion is near to the ground, moreover they are lacking government and authorities support.
There is dire need to bring some reforms in order to give these people their due rights. First of all they should be entitled to get enrolled in all schools and colleges without any discrimination, assault and prejudice. Their safety should be ensured by the institution authoritiesand management. Secondly when government body or a private organizations can have quotas for disabled, for minorities, for women, for employee’s spouse and children, then why some portion of seats can’t be fixed for them.
Thirdly by using electronic and print media government should educate masses in this regard.
By making some heart touching videos and by bringing their deplorable condition in front of society, their acceptability among masses can be increased. Out of 100, 49% of prostitution and assault cases are against Pakistani Police but FIR is not registered. So in order to ensure the registration of FIRs and the provision of justice to them, their complaint registration department should be handed over to females completely. Staff in health care centers and hospitals should be directed to treat these patients same as others are done. Moreover as this community witness large number of cases of HIV/AIDS, so their rehabilitation programme should be highly focused by the government.
These people are highly negligible but still very simple and soft-hearted. But they don’t demand much from sophisticated society rather they just want to be acknowledged and accepted.
This “acceptance” is their basic right. Just think for a moment, before sexually, physically and emotionally assaulting them,
they have not chosen their own fate to be like, they are born not made, there can be anyone in place of them, it could be you, me and even our President (pardon please). So hold their hand to survive. Not let them die.
Mohsina Tariq is Academic Research Writer and Blogger