A news picture with a difference has drawn wide attention of readers of this newspaper. It was a photograph of a humanitarian act being pursued by the members of transgender community. The photo showed that two youths of this community were pushing a wheelchair of a female patient, also on oxygen support, towards the Emergency department of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital. The photo was duly complemented by a four-column story titled: “From the marginalised to frontliners.” The story brings to light that these people voluntarily extend support to Covid-19 patients and their relatives. They are successfully doing the commendable job since April 15 bringing smile on the faces of corona patients and their attendants.
They are rendering this admirable humanitarian service in an atmosphere where we are accustomed to looking at transgender people in sheer neglect and disdain. Being members of marginalised section of society, they lead a life no less than a living hell. Everywhere, they experience stigma, discrimination and hostility from others. Most frequently, they are forced into begging and other undignified jobs and ultimately ostracised.But, the newspaper report has created a new dimension in people’s thinking. If proper opportunity is extended to these ostracised persons they can positively contribute to the society. Earlier, we have witnessed how the country’s first transgender TV news anchor, Tashnuva Anan Shishir, made her triumphant debut on a TV channel on the International Women’s Day!
We must accept that people belonging to this community are human beings. They deserve equal treatment like all human beings. We should remove whatever barriers are there on the way so that they can develop themselves like other members of society. If they want to attend school then the doors of education should be opened to them by creating a congenial atmosphere. If proper education and necessary training are imparted to them, they can surely qualify for being absorbed in offices, educational institutions, and mills and factories. They can show their mettle if favourable atmosphere is created for them. Finally, the violations of human rights of the marginalised people should be urgently addressed in a bid to ensure their entry into mainstream population.