HARIPUR: The life of transgender persons is full of sufferings and miseries due to lack of awareness and negative behaviour in the society. They are mostly deprived of health, education and economic rights and having no decent livelihood most of them resort to dancing, beggary, etc, and encounter segregation.

These observations were made by Saima Shaukat, 48, a transgender and focal person of Awaz District Forum while talking to this correspondent here on Saturday.

Recently,Saima was appointed asconsultantby the Management Sciences Department, University of Haripur (UoH), for a special project.Under this HEC-funded two years projectSaimawill work to motivate and facilitate the transgender persons in Hazararegion to take admission inbeautician, tailoring, mobile repairing, plumbing and cooking courses and develop their capacities.

Thisproject, according to Dr Majid, the project head at UoH, was designed to provide decent work opportunities to the transgender people.

“Transgender personsusually have the impression thatthey can’t do anything except dance or begging, so most people disliked usand are reluctant to haverelation withus. Ifelt the need that we need to change our profession so that we can play our role in the society,” Saima said.

She said once a transgender person grew old and was unable to dance they were left at the mercy of others.

“Now I am not only working for myself, but also raising awareness of the rights of other transgender persons,” she said, adding that becoming a consultant of a major university was a great honour for her.

Saima is also the district president of transgender persons and actively working for addressing their issues. She thanked the Sungi Foundation and UoH for providing her an opportunity to work for her community.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2022

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