PESHAWAR: First time in the history of Pakistan any provincial or federal Govt consulted Transgender community for their travel needs as the KP Govt moved to facilitate travels of transgender Persson under the planned BRT Project
Transgender community in Pakistan specially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa often facesdiscrimination, bullying abuse and are harassment while they access gender segregated spaces while using daily transportation. They often has to pay double transport fairs to private rickshaws and taxis to avoid harassment while using public transportations. They are even often denied access to local buses and other means of transportation because of their gender identity and expression.
The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is making efforts to improve transportation facilities in Peshawar, focusing on accessibility and people’s mobility needs. In this regard “The Peshawar Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Project (PSBRTC)” project will contribute to the development of a sustainable urban transport system in Peshawar. Making the city more livable, providing a holistic solution for integrated urban mobility, and bearing a demonstrative effect as no modern mass-transit system exists in the city yet.
First time in the history of Pakistan any provincial or federal Govt consulted Transgender community for their travel needs as the KP Govt moved to facilitate travels of transgender Persson under the planned BRT Project. The transgender community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa highly appreciate the efforts of KP Govt, Chief Minister KP and social welfare department for considering the challenges faced by the transgender community in their daily commuting. They specially thanked Ex Director Social Welfare Mohmmad Naeem for all his support in the uplift of the transgender community.
The new Director Social Welfare Abidullah said “ Govt continues to hear troubling stories from transgender travelers about their treatment while traveling. The provincial Govt will ensure that all public transportationschemes are transgender friendly and the state laws clearly prohibit such treatment which makes public transportation inaccessible to gender variant citizens.
The transgender community and civil society organizations highly appreciate the provincial government and the Social Welfare Department for taking into consideration the safe and secure mobility needs of the transgender.
Qamar Naseem, Project Coordinator Blue Veins and a transgender rights activist stated, “This is a very good initiative take up by the government, as safe and accessible mobility service is the right of every individual including the transgender community.” He more over said “In response to constitution petition 43 OF 2009 The supreme court of Pakistan has ordered that transgender community in their own rights are the citizens of this country and subject to the constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan 1973 their rights, obligations including right to life and dignity are equally protected thus no discrimination, for any reason, is possible against them as far as their rights and obligations are concerned. The Govt functionaries both at federal and provincial level are bound to provide them protection of life and property and secure their dignity as well, as is done in case of another citizen”.
President TransAction Alliance, Farzana, Says, “A distinctly unpleasant experience, getting a seat in a crowded bus is a small victory that one may celebrate in their heart, but if the person seated next to you is stern looking and constantly stares at you for no apparent reason, this victory might turn into uneasiness. Allocation of seats in BRT is highly appre4ciaited but we also request Govt to work on projects which could change peoples’ perception towards transgender community”
Taimur Kamal Coordinator of Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Coordinator Says “ Transgender residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have lower per-capita income and more transportation difficulties that keep them from reaching health-care providers”
It is worth-mentioning that the KP government has also shared the draft of Transgender Protection Policy with the Municipal Officers of Town 1Town2, Town 3 and Town 4, for their final comments before enacting the policy.