Prompts KP govt to allocate Rs200 million for community
PESHAWAR: The recent killing of a transgender, Alisha, united the transvestites across the province and prompted the government to allocate Rs200 million for their welfare in the annual budget.
Alisha was shot multiple times last month and died at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar. The transgender community members and the rights activists believed she could have survived had the hospital staff tended to her properly and provided her timely treatment.
Her tragic death emboldened the community to raise voice for their rights as the transgenders in the past used to remain silent and submissive.Alisha, expelled from her house since childhood, was the first transgender who was publicly buried and people belonging to various walks of life attended her funeral.
Her colleagues from various parts of the province also continued to come to the residence of Farzana, the provincial president of the transgender association, to offer condolences and fateha for Alisha.
Alisha had been living with Farzana, who was also her Guru. This correspondent witnessed her colleagues embracing each other and recalling Alisha’s affection for them.Alisha’s closest friend, Paro, recalled Alisha’s memories and said that she had wished two things a few days before her death.
“She gave me money to keep it, saying this is for her last rites and burial,” Paro said. She said Alisha also suggested collecting funds and buying a car for Farzana, her Guru, who faced problems while travelling to various parts of the province for highlighting transgenders’ problems.
Paro, who was also shot and injured and admitted in a hospital before Alisha’ death, said the government was making tall claims but nothing practical was done for them. She said the government gave the transgenders some government jobs but the salaries were low and they had to quit the jobs.
“By promoting our art, the transgender community could earn and lead a respectable life. Some of our members are top dancers and they can act as makeup artists. The government should support them,” she added.
Dispelling the impression that transgenders were promoting immoral activities, she said it was the government responsibility to check and punish those involved in immoral acts. She claimed 70 percent transgenders want to live a respectable life while the remaining 30 percent are known to everyone.
“The local police usually beat us instead of punishing the culprits of assaults. They are arrested and later released after getting bribe,” she alleged. She claimed the wicked and influential people usually attacked their residences, raped them and took away whatever they have. She said the government should draft strict laws to save them from cruelties.
The society has double standards, she said, adding: “People consider us bad but respect those who come to our houses and shower money on us.”She said the transgenders did not invite anyone but people invited them to their parties.
“People look after their pets such as dogs and cats and provide them water and food, but the entire society has ignored transgender community,” she complained.She added that one of their senior colleagues, Gul Babu, was leading a miserable life and was in desperate need of help.