SUKKUR: As soon as they hear the word or see a transgender, a majority of the people readily start laughing and passing indecent remarks on them. They are treated as aliens as if they are from some other planet. They are taken an object to have fun with.
Recently, Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kaleem Imam visited Sukkur, where besides meeting his subordinates, he also met with the transgender and announced inducting them in the police force. This announcement prompted a debate, as to how and in what capacity they will be inducted in the police force because a majority of the transgender are illiterate, while only few are educated to primary or middle or matric level. In this regard, when Truth Tracker approached Additional IGP Dr Jameel Ahmed Khan, he admitting that most of the transgender are illiterate, said, initially they will appoint those transgenders who have some literacy level. Dr Jameel said transgender were the marginalized section of our society and they needed to be provided jobs to the extent of one percent. As far as the question regarding the capacity, in which the transgender will be appointed, is concerned, they will be appointed as police constables and posted either at women police stations or reporting rooms of the police stations or even as receptionists.
“I hope that induction of transgender in the police force will be taken as a welcome gesture, because people have been irked by the harsh tone of policemen at police stations,” Dr Jamil said. However, this requires approval from the Sindh Assembly, after which changes will be made in the police act, he said.
According to him, it is ironic that the transgender, who are created this way by Almighty Allah, are treated like the third-rate citizens and people used to take them as a fun thing or an object for indecent activities.
“First of all, their (transgender) parents disown them soon after coming to know about their gender, which is painful,” he said. The additional IGP added that with the passage of the bill from Sindh Assembly, they will carve a strategy about inducting them in the police force.
Shaheed Benazirabad SSP Tanveer Hussain Tunio is of the view that induction of transgender in the police force is a good thing because they too need government jobs to survive.
“Our society, though pose to be liberal, but when it comes to the accommodating a transgender, people start making faces,” he said, adding that transgender are human beings and should be treated like one.
“We already have quota for women and disabled in the police force; then why can’t transgender be inducted under a quota?” he asked.
“Earlier, transgender persons were not entitled to get CNIC and vote in general elections, but now they are getting CNICs and therefore those, whosoever is literate can be accommodated in the police force,” he added.
Sanam Fakir, a transgender, who runs her welfare organization under the name of ‘Sanam Fakir Welfare Organization’, is trying to get legitimate rights for the transgender. Sanam is intermediate and is optimistic to get a job in the police force. She also runs a computer training centre at home, where transgenders are trained. She also raises funds for the welfare of the transgender.
Expressing their joys over the announcement made by the Sindh IGP, Sanam said the transgender if given a chance, could prove very beneficial for the police force. Sanam said men and women feel comfortable with them and therefore they can perform security duty in the police force. Giving example she said a transgender cop could be deployed on security duty of the Muharram processions at Imambargahs, and in political, religious or social rallies. Sanam is toiling hard to get approval for an old house, especially, for the elderly transgender where they can live in peace.
But, so far, her efforts have proved to be futile, but she still hopes that, one she will get a positive response.
Transgender Neelam, who is illiterate, said, how can I get a government job, when I have never been to school.
“My parents disowned me at the age of five and I started living with my guru,” she said,
However, she said, at least some of the educated transgender might get jobs in the police force and thus get rid of all the taunts and abuses, people use against us. Nagina, another transgender went to school, but could not complete even primary, because her classmates use to make fun of her. She said, “If I am given a job in the police, I will work harder than the male and female police officials.”
“We are deprived community, rejected by our parents and this society,” she said in painful tone. She said they got CNICs as a result of the intervention by the Supreme Court of Pakistan otherwise no one ever considered them human beings.
Now it is up to the Sindh Assembly to table this bill so that the most neglected section of our society could get government jobs. This is not all but IGP Kaleem Imam should also take whatever steps he could to fulfill his promise to the transgender community.