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TOWARDS RECOGNITION

We live in the most magnified time in which this world has exalted itself not only with technological advancement but political affability. And of course all these advancements represents intellectual sophistication of its residents. This seems so perfectly synchronized with the perfection. But the reality is a bit different then what it has to be. We actually live in the most abased moment of eternity in which this world has been so squeezed for humanity that it has almost crushed it; the humanity. Either it has lost 1humanity or it has given whole of the humanity in each and every person’s hand to play with it. And playing with it is the only play we are best at. We play with humans, their lives, their emotion, feeling, happiness. This hateful play has cost us a lot even then we don’t stop playing it. 

Of all the victims of this abhorrence, Trans-genders (TG) are the most marginalized ones. They are the ones who have, somehow, accepted their fate of being disgusted and invisible. They are neither accepted by their families nor by the society. This community has already been fighting with physical, intellectual and emotional disparity and this precocity has added up to their problems and already complex forms of discrimination faced by them.

The term transgender (TG) was first coined in 1971. Trans-gender phenomena is caused by the hormonal alteration of the brain and nervous system of the baby in the womb but it’s a recent revelation made by the concerned people in the 21st century.

The 2015 country Progress Report prepared by the National AIDs control program under a UNAIDs/UNDP funded surveillance project mentions a conservative estimate of the TG population to be somewhere around 150,000, out of which only around 4000 could avail the CNIC issued by NADRA, which keeps them from being an authentically authorized national of Pakistan. The report also estimates the TG sex worker population at 50,598 in 2014 (based on a 2011 survey held in nineteen cities). Furthermore, there is no quota reserved for the TG population in public sector jobs at the federal or provincial levels, which is one of the major causes of them opting ethically wrong way of earning and are treated as sex objects and often become the victims of violent assaults.

In 2015, 21 deaths of transgender people were tracked by advocates due to fatal violence, the most ever recorded. They are sexually assaulted, financially exploited and physically used. Our society leaves no stone unturned to make this community as uncomfortable as we can.

There is an inborn fear of the TGs amongst the “normal people” and this fear is inflicted since childhood. Pakistani parents are so insecure that they believe it’s inappropriate for their child to interact with a transgender hence developing this feeling of reluctance towards them. TGs are considered so degraded that they aren’t even allowed to live in a regular community but in secluded areas with the community of their own kind, often in intense poverty.

Furthermore, there is no government aid and support system to help these individuals living a normal life. In case of any criminal victimization or even sexual harassment, these individuals get no help/ support from the community or government institutions. This probably shows negligence of government from their responsibility to protect their citizens.

Though things have started getting slightly better, not on societal level but on governmental level, which can be reflected in the marriage Fatwa and funds allocated to them. In 2012, the Supreme Court of Pakistan granted trans-genders a place on the National Identity Cards and pronounced their inalienable right to get education but no provincial government has so far succeeded in implementing this decision.

 In last elections, many trans-genders in Pakistan wrote the history by casting their vote to choose their political representative. This decision of Supreme Court was successfully presided by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.  However, while their rights are guaranteed on paper, members of the transgender community say they do not have these rights in practice and provincial welfare departments have yet to implement the decision but at least government has started to fulfill its part in this responsibility but if we won’t do anything on our own this little spark will cease to exist.

Today is the time when we need more of humanity than anything else and humanity requires recognition and equality. Recognition, not of cast, creed or status but recognition of being very human. A human who has every right to be what he/she is, who has freedom of speech, freedom of living life at its fullest, freedom of following one’s own customs, traditions and values. We need to create a world where one does not have to pretend to be someone he/she is not. The day we create this world, we will come up to the definition of “Ashraf-ul-Makhlooqaat” (Superior of all Creation), which is becoming obsolete from our society.

Like any of other human beings, Transgender have every right to be recognized as humans. They are no less because neither they have control over how and what they are nor we.  So it’s better to make this world better for them rather than making it a hell. And for that we need to work from grass root level.

A study is being conducted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which evaluated the status of occupational skills and willingness of transgender population to change and switch over to other jobs. The study covered five districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province with a total sample size of 100, as their total population is unknown and scattered.According to this study the following chart shows the present professions owned by Transgender in the study area:

 

Professions

Total

Percentage

Begging

12       

15

Dancing

25

31.25

Prostitution

30

37.5

House keeping

6

7.5

Hair dresser

2

2.5

Office Work (lower level)

5

6.25

Total

80

100

 

The study also showed the trend of those transgender who were aching for changing their professions to a more respectful one.

 

 

Status

Peshawar

Abbottabad

Swat

DI Khan

Swabi

Yes. I want to shift to other Profession (80% )

65

85

75

85

90

No. I am satisfied with my present occupation (20%)

35

15

25

15

10

Total

100

100

100

100

100

 

So, it is therefore recommended to make vocational training centres for them to give them trainings in order to hone their skills according to their aptitude and interest. Government should develop relevant job schemes for them according to excellence of their skills. There should also be personality building classes for them so that they don’t stand out in society. They should also be given religious education of whichever religion they want to follow. Transgender children should be given equal change to get education. There should be awareness campaigns at all school and college level in order to alter their perspective about TG and make them acceptable. There should be rigorous penalty and punishment for those who try to give away their child if identified with a transgender tendency/ potential.

Achieving positive peace seems utopian but being human if we get to know our powers of making world peaceful for others, we will be proud with gratification. Giving recognition to the unrecognized ones, giving respect to disrespected, providing life to the lifeless ones is the ultimate purpose of humanity. The unrecognized, disrespected and lifeless ones exist if we make difference for them, and we also exist if we make difference for them.

Rubab Syed | July Mon 10 2017| 0 Comments

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