A grassroots community organization in Pakistan distributes food and medical supplies to trans people who are vulnerable by Co-19 pandemic.
That Pakistan Transgender Coalition for Change works with charities to support communities in countries where trans people are especially marginalized, and have helped more than 400 people.
Organizer Haseena Khan said that most trans people live below the poverty line, with sex work, dancing, and begging the only means of income available.
“They will most likely be affected by the economic crisis,” Khan said Pink Advocate.
“More than 80% of transgender people in Pakistan are not registered with the registration authority, and are therefore abandoned from government financial aid schemes and are equally ignored by humanitarian organizations that provide food and medical supplies.”
‘Cannot pay their rent’
Khan said that many trans people in Pakistan have health problems such as HIV, and now do not have the income to manage their medical expenses.
“Transgender people here also face housing and accommodation challenges and cannot pay their rent because of the closure of public meetings and locking up,” he said.
Trans people are forced to sell items such as jewelry and telephones to pay rent, or are forced to leave home, some can stay with friends for a short time.
The wider trans and LGBTIQ community faces widespread discrimination and violence in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Transgender Coalition for Change works tirelessly to help the community despite challenges that arise from the pandemic and transphobia.
Khan said that the members had faced death threats for actively supporting the trans community.
“Our transgender sisters Laila and Khushboo, despite facing recent threats, advocate with the government to ensure transgender people are included in the government scheme,” he said.
“They face threats to their lives because of their activism, but they still use their energy and play their role, that’s why we need to specifically acknowledge their work.
“The situation is very bad, but we are trying our best [help] our transgender community. “
Food and supplies distributed so far have come from donations from each member of the Pakistan Transgender Coalition for Change.
Activist groups also work to improve government protection for the trans community.
“Due to the increasing attacks and increasing threats against transgender activists, our organization also works to advocate with the government to formulate a policy protection mechanism for the transgender community,” Khan said.
Organizations in Pakistan are not permitted to use the crowdfunding website, but donations can be made directly to the Pakistan Transgender Coalition for Change, which can be contacted via Facebook or email.
Jesse is the editor of Pink Advocate. He has a background in LGBTIQ media, public health, and sex work. His other interests include gender and travel. When he doesn’t write or edit, Jesse usually watches cartoons or plays with his cat.
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