Transgender rights are human rights
The transgender community in Bangladesh has long been stigmatized, marginalized, and excluded from the right to a free, peaceful, secure life. It is heartening to see that finally, all of this is changing, with the government slowly but surely moving towards greater inclusivity. For the first time ever, the government has built residential houses for the transgender community, under the Ashrayan-2 project.
As Rupa, a member of the community has stated, before coming to this home, she was frequently a victim of harassment, and was denied any social rights. At long last, she has a place to call home. No doubt, Rupa’s reality is true for many other transgender people.
This project does not claim to have solved the large and complex problem that exists deep within our society that excludes people for being different. As of now, the village which was built next to the Dhaka-Rangpur highway to house transgender people is still quite small. It is, however, a baby step towards progress, and a sign that things are indeed changing.
The project has been good for the environment as well. While the area used to barren land, now it thrives, with vegetable and livestock cultivation. Only good can come from giving the transgender community safe dwellings, as the community will no doubt contribute richly to our economy.
It must also be kept in mind that transgender rights are human rights, and a transgender citizen of this nation has just as much of a claim to be protected from violence, abuse, and harassment as any other citizen. This will not fully happen without widespread social change. In that regard, there is much work ahead.