KARACHI: In compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, the Sindh government finally appointed three transgender people — Abdul Rauf alias Rafi Khan, Mazhar Anjum and Muskan — in the social welfare department on Thursday.
In a brief ceremony at her office, the provincial minister for social welfare, Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani, not only handed over the appointment letters to the transgender people, but also announced that more orders would be issued for the appointment of other people of the community in various government departments.
The three persons have been appointed on a contractual basis given a ban on the government jobs. “As soon as the ban is lifted, we will regularise their jobs,” added Qaimkhani.
According to the appointment letters issued, Rauf who has a double Master’s degree (MA in Economics and Political Science), has been appointed as the data entry operator on a fixed salary of Rs15,000, while his two other colleagues have been given the jobs of social workers with a salary of Rs10,000 each.
Talking to The Express Tribune, the minister said that the government has fixed a quota of two per cent for the transgender community in various departments and the limit would be increased later. “For starters, we have opened three community development centres for the rehabilitation and vocational trainings of the transgender people,” she said, adding that the centres along with hostels have been set up in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur.
“All kinds of vocational trainings would be started in the centres by the second week of February. Later, we will also approach the State Bank for recommendation so that every bank could also appoint transgender people for recovery.”
“We have a success story in our neighbouring country, India, where they have hired transgender people for the recovery of loans etc. We also want to follow their footsteps.”
Rauf, who belongs to Larkana district, also happens to be the treasurer of General Interactive Alliance, an organisation working for the civil rights of the transgender community in Pakistan. Rauf said that the government’s decision came after a long struggle. “I am really happy to be a government employee. During my probation period, I will prove to be as hard working as other employees. We will appreciate if the government can fix a quota for our people,” said Rauf.
Mohammad Rahim, the deputy director for planning and monitoring at the social welfare department, said that they have recently conducted a survey which revealed that around 2,000 transgender people belong to Sindh province. “Our department will put up a summary to the chief minister before making a law that fixes the quota of transgender persons in every department,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2014.