Housing Hijras, building inclusive society

31 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

That even Hijras were not excluded from the government’s massive housing schemes as part of birth centenary celebration of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is an assertion of Sheikh Hasina government’s commitment to creating inclusive society. The Prime Minister has provided some 50 Hijras with 20 houses, namely ‘Swopno Nir’, in Hatikumrul area in Ullapara Upazila under Sirajganj under Ashrayan-2 Project. They have already started living here happily, thanking the premier for the gift.

Besides shelters, cattle and sewing machines have also been given to them with a view to bringing them into mainstream society so that they can lead their life in a better way leaving their conventional ways to earn a livelihood. Mainstreaming of the marginalised people including Hijras will not only benefit those particular groups, but also radically change the socio-economic scenario of the country.

Bringing marginal people into the mainstream of society is very important for any economy. Recognising the fact, the present government has taken several steps to solve the problems facing the Hijras. The government has taken various rehabilitation programmes, including stipends for students, skill training, old-age allowances and rehabilitation grants, for the Hijras. Non-governmental and private organisations have also been playing a significant role in mainstreaming the third gender community.

A couple of months ago, the first-ever educational institution, a dedicated madrassah to Hijras, has been established in the capital where these neglected people are getting the scope to enlighten them. Several members of the third gender community have also managed some dignified jobs in some well-known offices proving that they have the capability but not the scope to perform alongside the men and women. And some others have been doing independent business and other jobs, pioneering others to be self-employed and self-dependent.

However, something more is needed for them, especially in their early age. Some initiatives should be taken to help them, so that they do not have to fall into a similar situation the older ones facing right now. We must ensure such an environment where the Hijras in their childhood would not face any negligence and discrimination and would grow up like other normal children with proper education. If such an environment is ensured, society would not require special care for these ill-fated people; rather the Hijras would contribute to the national economy.