Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder has said that people from the transgender community will get preference while buying essentials through the government’s Open Market Sale program. The Minister said this while speaking as Chief Guest at a cultural event organized by the transgender community at the Enam Medical College Hospital Auditorium in Dhaka on Friday. Sadhan added that the Social Welfare Ministry has taken up projects to empower the transgender people and ensure their inclusion in the society. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that no one will remain homeless. To fulfill her promise, she has launched the Ashrayan project, through which the homeless people including members of the transgender community are receiving places to stay,” said the Minister. Sadhan also talked about the many benefits that the transgender people are getting under the current government. Read: Food Minister urges people to check food waste “In 2019, the government recognized transgender people as members of third gender through providing them with the right to vote. Currently, the transgender people can use their identity in getting passports and many other services. This shows the emphasis the government has put on improving the living standards of the transgender community,” Sadhan added. The event was presided over by Dr Enamur Rahman, State Minister for the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, and inaugurated by Momtaj Begum, Member of Parliament from Manikganj-2 seat. Mohammad Abu Naser Baig, Deputy Secretary of the Education Ministry and Majharul Islam, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Savar, among others, attened the event as special guests.
In a first for the district, a member of the transgender community has won elected office during phase two of the UP elections last Thursday. Shahida Bibi, 43, has been elected as a member of Maguraghona Union Parishad-6 (Council) in Khulna district. Shahida’s victory was announced on Thursday after she contested a reserved seat for women of wards 4, 5, and 6 under the unionint the second phase of UP polls. She won by a huge margin of 2,740 votes competing against four female candidates with her symbol Mic. Shahida, a resident of ward-6 of Dumuria upazila, has been living for a long time in this area after building her own house. Her father Abdur Razaque Morol is a resident of Dakkhin Chuknagar village. Read: Empowering transgender and hijra communities a priority of the state: NBR chairman An ecstatic Shahida vowed to change society’s perspective towards the transgender community through her activities after winning. “I have contested in the poll to ensure the rights for people of our community which I’ll try to attain with my utmost effort,” she said. "People elected me for this position even though our community is neglected in society. I’m indebted to all who voted for me,” she said. Shahida also thanked the only transgender voter in the three reserved wards, Moni Mukta, for her constant support and another group of her community who came from different areas on the day of election to show their support. Meanwhile Moni Mukta said, “This is an achievement is for all of our community as people valued our efforts in the election campaign.” Read: Tashnuva Anan makes history as first transgender woman to present the news in Bangladesh When asked about future plans, Shahida said she wants to return the love she got from people by doing notable work for the locals. A guideline was approved in 2013 at cabinet committee for granting Hijra or transgenders state recognition. Following that, in January, 2014, government issued a gazette granting state recognition to the transgender community. In 2019, the Election Commission decided to enlist third gender as a gender identity in the voter list along with male and female. Shortly afterwards, the country got its first transgender elected representative, shop owner Pinki Khatun was was elected a councillor in Kotchandpur, Jhenaidah district, also in Khulna division.
“Government has given me a home and now I have a tea stall of my own. Wish to become self-dependent rather than begging around.” Jamila is a 48-year-old transgender living in the Andharia Sutirpar cluster village in Sherpur. On two acres of special land in Sherpur Sadar upazila a cluster village for 40 transgender people was built by government. The village is now home of 34 transgender whom the district administration relocated on June 7 and handed them over the lands and houses. Read: Tashnuva Anan makes history as first transgender woman to present the news in Bangladesh Upon visiting the village, the residents transgender were seen rearing poultries, some cultivating vegetables, fish farming or some working as tailors. People who once were disowned by their own families seemed beaming with potentiality and hope for self-employment. None of them wish to go back to the age of begging, extortion, and humiliation. Baishakhi, another transgender, said that with the Tk 5000 fund given by Upazila Nirbahi Officer and her own savings she brought 24 chickens and 25 ducks. With the money earned from selling eggs Baishakhi wishes to get back to a decent life with self-reliance. Read COVID-19: Bidyanondo stands beside transgender community with foods
Although the ongoing second wave of the global pandemic of COVID-19 has put a halt to the livelihoods of many communities, Bidyanondo Foundation, known for taking initiatives to serve the marginalised people in the country, stood beside the transgender community through its latest relief initiative in the capital. The humanitarian organization distributed food packages to a number of people from the marginalised community in Savar on Sunday. Earlier, it served transgender people food items across different areas in the capital including Vatara, Merul Badda, TSC area of Dhaka University, Mugda and other places on Friday. Bidyanondo informed UNB that the distribution was initiated upon the request of social activist, media personality and country's first-ever transgender news anchor Tashnuva Anan.
The strict lockdown imposed countrywide from April 14 to put a leash on the soaring transmission of Covid-19 in Bangladesh will stay in force till at least April 28. As boundless agonies of marginal income earners become more evident every day, some of them have taken the initiative to turn the table on the face of crisis by volunteering as frontline workers providing critical and emergency services during the pandemic. Also read: Bangladesh’s Covid death toll nears 11,000 as cases surge A UNB photojournalist had the opportunity to witness one such extremely vulnerable group – who identify as third gender or transgender – hard at work to earn their keep, even as the lockdown presents a whole new set of risks and dilemmas. Many of them depend entirely on irregular incomes from daily work in the informal sector. But many have lost their basic income source as the lockdowns come down particularly hard on informal work. Also read: Govt issues circular extending lockdown until April 28 Brought together by Brihonnola, a platform for the transgender community, these volunteers have stepped forward to fill a critical gap serving Covid-19 patients and their families, fully aware that the risk of infection is far greater in such settings. The photos were taken as they went about their work at Dhaka Medical College Hospital's Covid-19 unit. Also read: Transgender community members hold cleanup campaign at DU
Members of the Hijra or third gender community in Sherpur Sadar upazila on Wednesday demanded training and respectable jobs that will help them contribute to the country’s economy.
Dhaka, Oct 1 (UNB) – Around 100 members of the transgender community and students of various universities held a cleanup campaign on the Dhaka University (DU) campus on Tuesday.