Feature on Hermaphrodites/Transgender by Iqra Efzal
I thank God on what I am and what He creates me? I can’t argue on being a man or a woman. There are few things which are not in our control. But when I see respected people begging on the road signals and in public places, a question arises in my mind, If we know and admire the real creator, then why we ignore the people who are center creation of man and woman. Yeah you are right, I am talking about hermaphrodites or transsexuals. A gender with characteristics of both male and female.
I define this gender, as a gender of peace, loyalty and fair being. The people about whom we can explain but never understand. I ever found them stronger picture of patience. I had experience them as a neighbor for many years and found them a most humble human of God.
There are several term used nationally and internationally to identify them. Internationally, they are known as Transgender, Transsexual, Eunuch, Transvestite and Hermaphrodites and in Pakistani society, they are known as Hijra, Khusra, Khawaja Sara and Murat. The total population of Khawaja Sara living in Pakistan is around eighty thousand (80,000).
A big flaw that I found in our society is we think we have better judgment about people and their gender. Being asking one respected member of khawaja Sara about his survival issues, he told me that he is facing such issues since his birth. There are few number of people who accept him as a member of society, majority people don’t like him or make fun of him. He added that People consider khawaja Sara as an amusing tool, which is most hurting part of our life.
I don’t know, why we forget that if God creates them as hermaphrodites, he‘d also enter us in cyclone of trial. On one hand we admire that they are most miserable human of God But on the other, we don’t give them right place in society. Why we are ignoring wisdom of God behind his creation? Isn’t it unfair to not accept their presence? Don’t they have a right to live like a normal being? It’s very simple fact that targeting those means we are targeting God!! Another respected member of khawaja Sara told that there are many khawaja Saras who are not satisfied of their life. They want to live like a normal human being. They want to feel luxurious freedom of life. He added, “Our parents denied accepting us as family, how we can expect to the society?”
Pakistani movie “Bol”, released in June 2011 is very good example of attitude and behavior of people towards transsexuals. The outstanding story beautifully shows the dark aspects of our society.
I‘d not highlight names of organizations which are working for these respected people in society. But I have a question for them that where is their work? If they are working for their rights then why Khawaja Saras are not getting their right place? Why they are still considering an amusing part of our society – events and functions? Why they are still uneducated? I have long list of questions for them. I agree it is not easy to fight for rights but why I ever fail to find a beam of light appearing from efforts of organizations.
Till 2011, Pakistani government didn’t allow NADRA to issue National ID cards for them. But I really appreciate struggles of khawaja Saras for their own rights. They raised their voice and forced Supreme Court to declare them as a respected citizen of Pakistan. On January 2011, Supreme Court ordered NADRA office to add third option, “khawaja Sara”, under gender category for their identification as a citizen of Pakistan. Court also instructed different institutions and sectors to provide them job opportunities. Court also announced additional rights – voting, legal assistance and property rights, for them.
In 2011, a national level organization of Khawaja Sara, named “Alliance for the rights of Transgender” (Etihad Baraa-e-Haqooq_e_khawaja sara), put another demand to the government to have seats in legislative assemblies of the country. This stand taken by Khawaja Sara filled a new hope among the all members of their family.
It’s not something unique or it’s not a new topic to talk and write about, but main purpose to write on it is actually to remind people that there are still many issues beside political issues that we are ignoring. The Issues, which demand our attention for the betterment of society.
We all have to stand up together to remove this distinction. We all are human and every human has right to live his life and to enjoy his freedom. There should be prominent respected status for Khawaja Saras in society. Government and organization should construct separate schooling and education system for them. They should organize institutes which give them such education which helps them to identify their problems and create sense to solve and eliminate them. They should have job opportunities like other beings. Everybody individually have to cooperate equally to create awareness to raise the standard of living.
Media should aware the people and should organize programs on the rights of humanities. Media has power to portray or reshape any image. It can play positive role to give right place to the transgender in the society through different campaigns, dramas and shows. Many people could be disagreeing of my idea but near me, like different events, media should decide to celebrate a day to give honor to the respected people to give them value in the country and in the world.
I think parents should not get embarrassed to have a child with characteristics of both male and female but they should feel embarrassment when they ignore their presence and when they hesitate to introduce them in society.
I met with the angel of beautiful heart
I was confuse, from where, I should start
I saw diamond, like shining star
Kept thousand wishes in core of heart
Like a red flower with dew drops
Like Rising rainbow from flower to flower
A hidden desire to live like all
Like a whisper, “don’t think, I’m tart”
I met with the angel of beautiful heart
Deserved to consider a respected part