Shahzeb Afridi

PESHAWAR: The provision of special seats in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar has been praised by the transgender persons.

Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the BRT on August 13, 2020, with seats reserved for men and women, but none for transgender persons. Sobia Khan, a transgender person who is associated with TNN, had brought the issue of transgender persons facing difficulties while travelling in BRT due to lack of designated seats into the notice of concerned authorities.

Whenever transgender persons boarded the BRT bus and sat on a women’s seat, women would say, “This is our place, get up from here.” According to Sobia Khan, when transgender persons sat on men’s seats, the guys would tell them to “stand up from here, this is our seat.” transgender persons have to deal with a lot of problems as a result of people’s attitude.

However, they are now grateful to Trans Peshawar for allocating two seats for transgender persons in each bus. Sobia Khan said now even transgender persons can travel comfortably in BRT because they used to pay more for public transport than the general public.

Sobia Khan said the two seats reserved for transgender persons in BRT can be used for comfortable travel, implying that the government’s decision has solved the problem of these people travelling in Peshawar.

“When we used to take public transport, people had a negative attitude toward us. We used to be terrified of taking a taxi or a rickshaw. People would inquire about our names and phone number. Now we are protected from the teasing questioning of insignificant individuals. BRT also provides a high level of security when we board and exit the bus,” Sobia Khan said.

Sobia Khan explained that in terms of security, men and women in the BRT have their own security. However, they have challenges since, when they enter the BRT, men security would say, “We can’t check them,” while female security would say, “We can’t check them either.”

She said the government should station two security personnel from transgender community at each BRT station. She said it would create job opportunities for transgender persons.

 

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