Plea to court: Eunuch tax-collectors want jobs regularised

Published: December 13, 2011
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Eunuchs from across the country converged at the SC. PHOTO: FILE

Eunuchs from across the country converged at the SC. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Highlighting the worth of their services, a eunuch informed the Supreme Court on Monday that she and her colleagues outmatched the target set for tax collection in the Clifton Cantonment Board.

A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, is currently hearing a human rights case on the welfare of eunuchs. The court had already directed provincial authorities to provide eunuchs with identity cards and enroll them as voters.

Proficient in speaking English and a holder of a Master’s degree in Political Science, Riffi Khan said she and her colleagues collected more than Rs130 million, even though they were asked to match the figure.

“We have been working with the department for the last couple of years but they refuse to regularise our services. We do not wish to become a joke,” Riffi pleaded before the court.

Eunuchs from across the country had converged at the Supreme Court to urge the chief justice to do more for their welfare.

“Now we get phone calls from police high-ups and those associated with official social work. Where were they before you took notice of our plight?” asked another eunuch, Bebo Ali from Sukkur.

Bebo also made a passionate appeal to the chief justice for taking long term measures for the provision of education to their community.

The chief justice observed that he has already passed directions to all the provinces in this regard.

Social welfare of eunuchs

Appearing before the court, Balochistan Social Welfare secretary Sher Khan said the government has earmarked Rs20 million for building a shelter home for eunuchs and another Rs50 million for equipping them with skills.

When the chief justice inquired of practical steps taken for their welfare, the secretary conceded that officers were not cooperating with him at all.

“I have written a letter to the chief secretary that officers are not responding,” the secretary said. Dubbing the report ‘eyewash’, the chief justice warned the official of action if he continued with ‘hollow excuses’.

The chief justice observed that eunuchs were inseparably intertwined with society and asked the secretary to state whether there were any eunuchs in Balochistan.

“We know there is a large population of eunuchs in Balochistan. We will help locate them if they cannot find them,” said Almas Bobby, another eunuch.

Advocate Aslam Khaki, the petitioner in the case, informed the court that students of Quaid-i-Azam University were also studying their problems. He said a student bought a eunuch a photocopier for operating it within the premises of the university.

However, the chief justice refused Khaki’s request for allowing a eunuch a similar opportunity on the premises of the Supreme Court.

Electoral registration

Another eunuch, Shaheen Abbas from Muzzafargarh, informed the court that the process of enrolling in south Punjab was painfully slow.

Joint Secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan Sher Afgan informed the court that according to a report received from six districts, 104 eunuchs have been enrolled.

The chief justice ordered that the election commission should hold meetings at the provincial divisional headquarters for accelerating the process of enrollment.

He also ordered provincial governments to coordinate with the ECP and arrange meetings between eunuchs and ECP officials for expediting the process.

The chief justice also directed chief secretaries of all the provinces to create job opportunities for eunuchs and assist them in securing their national identity cards from NADRA.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2011. 

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Shaista Zulfiqar
    Dec 13, 2011 - 2:53PM

    Oh God, please make it happen!Recommend

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