PESHAWAR: The Bacha Khan Trust, a welfare organisation, and Malgari Doctoran, an association of doctors, on Tuesday distributed ration package to 40 transgender persons in Peshawar.

A ceremony in this regard was organised at Bacha Khan Markaz which was attended by Malgari Doctoran provincial adviser and provincial vice president of the Awami National Party (ANP) Saqibullah Chamkani, provincial general secretary Sardar Hussain Babak, Malgari Doctoran provincial president Dr Haider Ali, Dr Shaukat Ameerzada, Dr Mian Iftikhar Hussain and other party activists.

TNN anchorperson Sobia Khan was also invited to the function as representative of transgender persons.

Saqibullah Chamkani said while addressing the ceremony that the party’s welfare institution is working with the passion of public service to help the deserving people in this hour of need. He said helping the poor segments in this crisis situation due to coronavirus is the top priority of the government.

Saqibullah Chamkani said that unfortunately weaker segments, like transgender persons, are not treated well in the society and they face many difficulties particularly due crisis situations. He said it was very unfortunate that the transgender persons in our country face discrimination and they don’t have access to their rights. He assured that the Bacha Khan Trust and all the party activists will stand by the transgender persons during difficult times and won’t desert them. He said there must not be any discrimination with anyone on the basis of gender or any other factor.

Speaking on the occasion, Sobia Khan said transgender persons also deserve the same rights which are enjoyed by other people. Sobia demanded that the government must provide education and jobs to all the transgender persons to enable them to earn livelihood with dignity.

During the lockdown in KP, all kinds of functions like weddings, music functions and entertainment gatherings have also been banned due to which transgender persons have also been deprived of their source of income. Most of transgender persons earn their livelihood by dancing at weddings and music functions, but ban on functions has confined them to their homes and they have no source of income now.

According to the 6th population census in Pakistan in 2017, a total of 10,418 transgender persons are living in Pakistan, 913 of whom belong to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, it is widely believed that the actual number of transgender persons in the country is much higher.