With Discrimination At Every Level Of Society, Least What KP Govt Can Do Is Establish An Orphanage For Transgender Children

With Discrimination At Every Level Of Society, Least What KP Govt Can Do Is Establish An Orphanage For Transgender Children
Asif Khan Turk in this article calls for an orphanage for the transgender children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while highlighting the plight of the community in the province where over 50 trans people have been killed during the last four years.

Like other problems of the transgender community, the issue of the unavailability of an orphanage for transgender-children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is of paramount importance. Most of the parents do not accept their transgender-children in utter disregard of their instinctive urge and parental love. The reason behind this deplorable phenomenon will be dealt with later on.

Once turned out of the parents’ home, q trans-child isn’t shown any sympathy by anyone at all. In these circumstances transgender-children are forced to join the transgender community, which, in such a critical situation, is the only resort for a trans-child banished from home and hated by relatives. The community can’t even provide for the basic necessities of life of these children. As a result, they adopt the profession of dancing and singing.

They are given formal training of singing and dancing and people who have no sympathy for them otherwise, highly appreciate their singing and dancing abilities.

As stated already, the stigma around transgender identity is such that parents are almost never willing to accept them. This attitude of the parents is not only deplorable but infinitely condemnable. Completely inhumane.

Actually, the lack of education and awareness is also a factor responsible for this state of affairs. But educated and civilised parents also don’t let others know that their child is transgender. They keep the fact a ‘top-secret’ and do their proper upbringing to make the child a useful citizen of the society.

On the other hand, if a trans-child is disowned by all the relatives, they have no option but to join the transgender community which is the only door open to them for earning a livelihood.

It is a fact that due to the fear of joblessness, transgender people adopt the profession of dancing. Most of them don’t like it and want to leave the profession but they are unable to do so due to socio-economic compulsions. However, if opportunities are provided to them, they can perform all kinds of jobs. They can run their own enterprises, boutiques, cafes and everything that people of other genders do. However, it is alarming that there is no educational institution or technical/vocational training centre in the province to educate and train them in modern skills.

Before we move further, it is to be noted that like other vulnerable communities, trans people are also threatened in KP. They live a miserable life and are considered useful only for performing at the dance and music parties. Most of the people enjoy their miseries and exploit them. This community does not have any kind of respect in the society and its members are considered as social outcasts. The inhumane attitude of the public towards them shows that they are unsafe among us and need special attention and care to save them from the effects of various social evils.

According to media reports, almost 50 trans people have been killed and more than 300 have faced violence and gender discrimination during the last four years in the province. The trans community has been facing multiple challenges including harassment and kidnapping. They face inhumane attitudes at public places.

Besides, prostitution is also common in the community. This exposes the community to the hazards of HIV/AIDS in a society where precautions on this front are hardly ever taken into consideration. The rest of the population living with the disease remains hidden because of the prevailing stigma attached to it.  It is a fact that some of the trans people join the profession of dance and prostitution by choice but most of them join it for earning a living only.

The number of registered trans people in the province is 1600 plus, while a large number of the members of this community are reluctant to get themselves registered out of the fear of being exposed. In this regard, the provincial government has failed miserably at eradicating the menace of the transgender abuse, or formulating an effective strategy to uplift their living standards and safeguarding their rights.

This is the prime responsibility of the KP government to protect their due rights. It should review its policies in this regard. Discrimination should be eliminated at every level and they should be considered as equal citizens in the society. The government must provide them with all the necessities of life which they deserve. The government must set up an orphanage or a special home for the transgender-children disowned by their parents. It will be a great service to the community. Civil society members, human rights activists, political workers, youth and scholars should join hands to demand the provision of a respectable space to transgender community in the society by protecting their basic human rights.

The writer is a Peshawar-based multimedia journalist and author. He can be reached at asif1015@yahoo.com