Honouring the third gender

Annual dastaar bandi ceremony of eunuchs from across Punjab held in a local marriage hall amid tight security.

Express October 07, 2010

The annual dastaar bandi ceremony of eunuchs from across Punjab was held in a local marriage hall in Mandi Bahauddin on Wednesday.

Hundreds of eunuchs attended the event amid tight security.

During the function, the dastaar bandi ceremony was performed on eunuch Saima. “I feel honoured that so many people from my community have gathered together and given me such respect,” Saima said, adding that the eunuch community was an integral part of Pakistani society and had been marginalised for a long time. “It is time that we get the recognition and the rights that are our due,” Saima said.  Eunuchs from Sargodha, Lahore, Islamabad, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Mandi Bahauddin, Malkwal, Dunga and Kabirwala participated in the event. They danced and Saima and her friend Pathani were the main attraction of the event as dastaar bandi ceremonies had been performed for both.  After the function Saima also distributed gifts among the guest. Eyewitnesses reported that during the function a fight also broke out between two rival groups of eunuchs and they began to slap each other. At one point a eunuch threw a dish of daal on another eunuch.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2010.

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