In a bid to bring more and more marginalised segments of the society under Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), its board has declared transgender persons a beneficiary of Benazir Kafalat Programme.
Upon successful registration, members of transgender community will be eligible to receive seven thousand rupees per quarter.
The transgender community is one of the most marginalised communities in Pakistan. Their families often shun them at large and live on fringes of society.
They are not entitled to same rights and protections as other citizens making them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
They face immense discrimination and violence, both physical and mental. As a result, they often do not have access to education, employment, healthcare or even basic human rights.
Many members of the community are forced to beg or resort to sex work in order to survive.
This can lead to further social isolation and ostracism. In this backdrop, the very decision of government and especially efforts of Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety to provide them financial assistance are admirable which in fact will give them some sense of security.
But now bigger task is that no deserving transgender is missed out during registration process.
In this era of technology when cell phone is in everybody’s hand, their registration should not be a big issue.
This process must not stop here but efforts must continue so that barriers faced by this community to access education and healthcare facilities are also removed.
This is important to help them stand on their own feet and live a dignified life. Furthermore, there is a need for more awareness raising and advocacy initiatives to create greater visibility for these communities.
We need to work to create policies and practices that are inclusive of all people, regardless of gender identity or expression.
By working together and bringing change in our behaviours, we can create a better world for everyone.