There are 1 million transgender (locally known as Hijra) people in our country, who have been abandoned by their families since childhood and are deprived from fundamental human rights (education, shelter, clothing, food, medication, etc). They grow up in slums in miserable conditions and get involved in mostly sex-work and begging (going to newborn babies’ houses or local shops, and singing, clapping, dancing, and asking for money in lieu of their blessings) for livelihood.
TransEnd is a Bangladesh based non-profit organisation which works to bridge the gap between the transgender community (locally known as Hijra) and mainstream community through education, training sessions, health & hygiene, employment & entrepreneurship.
Education is one of the most significant aspects which sets TransEnd apart from other organisations. It consists of social awareness campaigns, sensitisation programmes, and teaching people about gender spectrums (What is the difference between gender and sex? How is one supposed to treat a hijra person? What does the term transgender actually mean? etc). There are lots of misconceptions about gender spectrums among Bangladeshis. This is the reason why a majority of people still disrespect trans people all the time.
They aim to generate workshops and mentoring sessions about various subjects (Spoken English, Fashion and Lifestyle, Etiquette & Manner, Graphics Designing, Arts & Crafts etc).
Health & Hygiene:
87% of transgender people have no scope for receiving proper treatments or medication when they fall sick. They often face discrimination while seeking help from clinics and hospitals. TransEnd aims to solve these problems by partnering with local hospitals and organisations in order to provide free mental health services, medical campaigns, and free personal hygiene equipment for them.
Employment & Entrepreneurship:
There are approximately 1 million transgender people in Bangladesh and 95% of them are involved in either sex trading or begging for their livelihood. TransEnd’s vision and mission is to create sustainable employment opportunities for them after the training sessions. But there are a lot of obstacles as almost no job sector employs trans people, no matter how qualified they might be. This is why they are arranging sensitisation programs to convince and inspire related business personas to provide the hijra people with professional opportunities. Also, by now, they’ve managed to make noticeable progress in this case.
A fundraising programme for the Trans & Hijra Community of Bangladesh, this project has been active for the past 5 months, and TransEnd has already helped approximately a thousand hijra people with 15-20 days worth of food packages and hygiene products. They have the ambition to do more.
Online Awareness Campaign
They have a team of 15 amazing Content Writers & Editorial Executives who write valuable articles and make relatable illustrations. By uploading new contents daily, they conduct their Online Awareness Campaign.
This was an online art, poetry, short story, and photography exhibition under the topic Transgender & Trans Rights, which was launched to celebrate the International Day Against Transphobia (17 May). Within only 10 days, they received hundreds of creative work submissions and the judges chose 35 winners, who were honoured with certificates. These creative works were exhibited through TransEnd’s Facebook and Instagram pages throughout the whole month.
It was a pilot project for Break the Taboo. For this project, they invited 3 renowned transgender activists (Joya Sikder, Joyeeta Poly, and Tashnuva Anan) to 3 different webinars.
Involving the hijra community in the Bangladeshi Fashion Industry
Throughout the first two months of 2020, TransEnd helped 3 hijra people get appointed to 3 different fashion shops as freelance models through their training session on Fashion & Lifestyle. They have already talked to famous fashion designers like Bibi Russell and others about including more hijra people in the fashion industry.
The August issue of TDA, Youth in Philanthropy, intends to honour those youth-led organisations which are selflessly working to bring about a change in the society.