By Naveel Ahmed

ISLAMABAD, Jan 10 (APP): Compilation of accurate data of trans-people is critically important to transform their lives, and for this their community leaders can be a potential source.

Wafaqi Mohtasib Commissioner for Children and Transgender Syeda Viqar un Nisa echoed this view in an exclusive chat with APP here the other day.

“Contrary to the developed countries, unfortunately our national database does not have exact statistics about the transgender community, which is considered a key tool for bringing them into mainstream and ensuring their socio-economic uplift,” she regretted.

The commissioner said collection of evidence-based data was imperative to prepare socio-economic profile of transgender community and it could only be possible through involvement of Gurus (leaders of eunuchs groups), who gave shelter to the abandoned transgender. “Those gurus have their actual details,” she added.

Highlighting the issues being faced by her office in facilitating them, she said “At present, we are relying on the statistics collected in the population census of 2017, showing that the country has only 10,400 transgender. This data is not correct at all,” she asserted.

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However, Head of SAFAAR (NGO) and a Transgender Nadeem Kashish voiced
her concern over ‘Guru’ culture saying they compel them for begging and use them for unethical jobs for money.

Responding to a query she said Gurus were the right people to gather exact data of the community.

Kashish said she was collecting the data of her community and so far 5,000 members had been registered with her organization.The initiative was meant to ensure provision of equal opportunities in all areas of life, she claimed.

She also stressed on sensitizing parents of such children to accept them as human beings and give them optimum care at home as they extend to their other children.

“We are nobody’s pain and nobody’s liability. The house where we were born is even reluctant to own us. We are disgraced creatures and punished for an uncommitted sin,” these were the painful remarks of a eunuch Shazia, at a Guru’s Dera in Rawalpindi
“It is society’s belief that we are born like this on our own will and deserve to be treated badly,” she added.

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She said, “We were also supposed to have every right enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan as given to other citizens,” adding that the transsexuals were deprived of their basic rights which forced them to adopt unpleasant means to earn their bread and butter.

“The majority of transgender do not reach matric level education because they are not entertained as normal human beings by the regular schools at primary level and this discrimination leads to almost their zero enrollments in educational institutions,” said Professor of Sociology Dr Tahir Khan, University of Peshawar.

Dr Tahir also suggested establishing independent institutions for them to ensure they were groomed as productive citizens in a free and healthy environment.

Trans-people should be provided level-playing field in all spheres of life, said Senior Advocate Hafiz Khurram while citing Article 25 of constitution of Pakistan that says: “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law. There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex.”