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Saturday, 26 May 2018

Struggling for transgenders’ rights by Pakistan Sikh

AMRITSAR: A Sikh man has earned the respect and affection of the ‘disgraced’ transgenders’ community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan by working hard to secure their citizenship rights. He takes them on excursion trips, conducts sports festivals for them and tries to generate awareness not only among them about their rights but also among the general public.



“The transgenders live on fringes of society. They are considered disgraced and often abandoned by their parents, or beaten up at home. They suffer stigma and exclusion by the society,” said Peshawar-based president of National Council for Minority Rights Radesh Singh Tony.
He said most transgenders makes a living by dancing in marriages and are often gang raped or murdered. In 2017, he said, as many as 57 transgenders were killed in KPK alone.

After a prolonged legal battle, in 2017, identity cards mentioning sex, “transgender” were made, he said, adding that before this, they could get passports and driving licenses by describing themselves as either male or female.
A Karachi-based transgender, Sarah Gill, 23, recounted a horrific childhood in which she was abandoned by her parents, abducted and gang raped. Fighting against huge odds, she is now all set to become the first transgender doctor in Pakistan.
“I am in the fourth year of MBBS and am keen to contest elections to be member of the national assembly,” she said. She also expressed appreciation for the efforts made by Tony to uplift her community.
Asked why the transgender people were harassed or killed, she replied “People love to give pain to transgenders.” Another transgender, Arzoo Khan, who is also general secretary of NGO Trans Action said, “Sardar ji toh hamare liye chirag hain. Jab woh hamare pas aate hain aisa lagta hai jaise maa-baap ka saaya mil gaya (Sardar ji is like a beacon of light for us, whenever he comes to us, it feels we have got our parents).”

Courtesy: India Times

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