Computer centre opens for transgenders in Pakistan?
PAKISTAN city:SUKKUR: Transgenders will
have to learn different skills to be able to earn a respectable
livelihood, said Sanam Fakir while speaking at the inauguration of a
computer training centre at her house on Thursday.
“We will have to break the begging bowl,” she said. “My mission is to
educate transgender people so that they become bread earners for
themselves and their dependents. This computer training centre has been
set up on a self-help basis.”
Fakir runs the Sanam Fakir Welfare Association and is the go-to
person for transgender people in Sindh. The institute aims to provide
free computer training in a bid to wean them off begging. Although the
Sindh government has appointed her as the focal person for this minority
group she is still working without an office and salary.
There have, nonetheless been great developments for transgendered
people who were previously denied the right to have a computerised
national identity card (CNIC). But the Supreme Court stepped in and
changed that, making it possible for them to now be eligible for
benefits that other Pakistani citizens could apply for.
Fakir is also counting on the commissioner of Sukkur to keep his
promise of granting her some funds for welfare work. The commissioner,
Inamullah Dharejo, said that he gave a cheque of Rs200,000 to Fakir for
the welfare of the transgenders. Unfortunately, the system changed and
the funds were withdrawn. “We will give them funds just as we receive
them,” he promised. Fakir is now focusing on the centre where they have
three computers and at least 10 students. “We have hired an instructor
but he does not come regularly; therefore, I also teach them,” she said.
Fakir has matriculated and knows how to operate a computer. At least 10
more students will be trained after this batch is done. Some of them
are intermediate students.
Fakir said that she purchased three second hand P-III computers for
Rs40,000. “Initially we are teaching our students basics of the
computer. We want them to learn how to type in English and Urdu,” she
One of the students, Savera, told The Express Tribune that
she did intermediate as a private candidate. “It was very difficult to
continue studying with boys after I completed eight grade because the
boys used to tease me,”
Zahida also wants to learn computer to get a respectable job. “We are
also human beings and have right to get education,” she said, “I am
grateful to Sanam, who is doing a lot for the welfare of our community,”
Farzana is keen to learn computer and a fast learner at the centre.
She is very intelligent and also intends to continue her studies as a
private candidate. “We earn enough by performing at functions but people
treat us like a commodity,” she said.
Fakir has already requested the National Database and Registration
Authority (Nadra) general manager to help them get jobs after the
students complete their training. She said that she could send her
students to other training centres in the city but so far they can’t
afford the fees.
Deputy Director Administration Nadra Sukkur Major Tanveer told The Express Tribune
that Fakir had visited his office regarding the registration of
transgenders and jobs for them. “I have appointed two or three
transgenders as data entry operators,” he said. The transgender who has
done an intermediate and a diploma in computer is eligible for the post
of data entry operator, he added.
See Votes by State