KHULNA, Oct 16: Speakers at a discussion here in Khulna have stressed the need for changing mindset towards the transgender (Hijra) people to ensure their fundamental rights to uplift their lives and living conditions.
They also appealed to the government for recognizing the transgender community providing them with all possible facilities so that they can enjoy their rights like all other citizens of the country.
Loknatya O Sangskritik Unnayan Kendra (LOSAUK), an organization for social and cultural development of the disadvantaged people, and Khulna Divisional Hijra Network jointly organised the two-day council session here in cooperation with Manusher Jonno and 'PlanetRomeo' Foundation of Netherlands.
Organisers said that nearly 60 leaders of hijra community from Khulna, Barisal, Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions and 400 more Hijras participated in the event.
Deputy Director of Local Government Division under Khulna district Md Habibul Haque Khan addressed the opening session on Thursday as Chief Guest while LOSAUK chairperson Dr Nazmul Ahsan presided over the function.
Project Director of Development of Livelihood of Hijra Community under the Department of Social Welfare, Dhaka, Nurunnahar Begum, Deputy Director of Social Welfare Department, Khulna, Sheikh Abdul Hamid, Convener of Khulna Divisional Hijra Network, Guruma Panna hijra were present as Special guests. Director of LOSAUK, Parvin Akhter Azad delivered welcome speech.
The two-day long programmes of the council session include seminar, workshop, cultural function and documentary film show for highlighting lifestyle of the people of transgender community said the organisers.
Speakers said, Hijras are also human beings. They have lives, they need food, shelter, clothes, education and job to survive in the world like other men and women do.
Despite the fact that Hijras are human beings, they are denied of their rights, as social taboo and discrimination made them untouchable, fearsome and funny.
They added that Hijras were sexually disabled by born but are not considered as disabled in the society and thus being deprived of their rights.
They also said Hijras get separated from their families when they start developing some particular characteristics. They gradually isolated from their friends and other people in society. As per law, all the citizens of the country should enjoy equal rights and other facilities provided by the state but the Hijras are always deprived in the society, they further said.
The discussants stressed the need for creating awareness among the people so that they behave well with the Hijras and the Hijras can contribute to society with their activities and efforts.
They demanded that research work on the Hijras should be conducted so that they can enjoy their rights and lead happy life.
Representatives of various government and non-government organisations attended the opening session with discussions on ways and means to ensure lawful rights of the transgender people.