The transgender people in Bangladesh received their first victory in the fight for equal rights in 2013, when the government officially recognised them as the third gender. The cabinet, then, passed a law which declared transgender people or hijras a separate gender. The law says that they will be given similar rights as any other man or woman residing in the country, in terms of education, job facilities, housing and health. Years after, it is sad to notice that these people still have to fight for their rights. And, they hardly get due respect in society. They are still not able to lead a normal life. Landlords do not want to rent their houses or flats to them. Many of us do not treat them normally, when we see them on the public bus, train or in crowded places. They are still treated as objects of ridicule or sometimes looked at with fear.
In this situation, we should stand up together, and speak up for these people's rights. Let us make them feel like a part of our world, so that they too can become those who can contribute to Bangladesh, and no longer have to struggle constantly for mere survival. We can prioritise their involvement in the development work of the society including education and employment. Also, if we can create proper employment, these people may no more have to make a living by raising money from others. To fully implement the recognition of the government, we call upon all the people of the country to treat these people with due respect, and help them to lead a normal life like us.
Apu Deb Nath,
Student of National University,
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