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Where a vulnerable community found they could live in dignity

  • Published at 11:06 am September 8th, 2021
Sherpur transgender
Some of the transgender living in the Sherpur Sadar upazila cluster village UNB

People who once were disowned by their own families seemed beaming with potentiality and hope for self-employment

“Government has given me a home and now I have a tea stall of my own. Wish to become self-dependent rather than begging around.”

Jamila is a 48-year-old transgender living in the Andharia Sutirpar cluster village in Sherpur.

On two acres of special land in Sherpur Sadar upazila a cluster village for 40 transgender people was built by government. The village is now home of 34 transgender whom the district administration relocated on June 7 and handed them over the lands and houses.

Upon visiting the village, the residents transgender were seen rearing poultries, some cultivating vegetables, fish farming or some working as tailors. People who once were disowned by their own families seemed beaming with potentiality and hope for self-employment.

None of them wish to go back to the age of begging, extortion and humiliation.

Baishakhi, another transgender, said that with the Tk 5000 fund given by Upazila Nirbahi Officer and her own savings she brought 24 chickens and 25 ducks. With the money earned from selling eggs Baishakhi wishes to get back to a decent life with self-reliance.

“We used to roam on the roads to earn Tk 5-10 from begging but the new home, land and fund from the government has brought us hope to turn around our lives,” she said.

“Even my own parents didn’t give me a piece of land while the government has given us an address of our own,” said Mursheda, another trans.

A huge share of their gratitude also goes to the Citizen’s Platform Public Enterprises Sherpur committee for bringing the authority’s attention to this rootless community’s accommodation and employment.

Md Abul Kalam Azad, convener of the committee, said once the locals here were annoyed of the transgender community’s extortionist nature but a home of their own has brought huge behavioral change in them.

“The privileged and authorities should support this neglected community to achieve their goal of self-reliance,” he said.

Sherpur Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Firoz Al Mamun said: “We are continuously training up and assisting the transgender community here so that they can become a part of the mainstream and live a life of honor.”