Speakers at a consultation meeting in Rajshahi on Monday called for ensuring the fundamental rights, especially the health, social and legal rights, of transgender people for uplifting their living standard for the sake of inclusive development of the country.
They said the society should come forward with a positive attitude towards people who were shunned socially to build an inclusive society.
The Bandhu Social Welfare Society organised the discussion titled ‘SDG Attainment through Inclusive Development: Social Integration of Third Gender and Institutional Responsibilities’ at Hotel Warishan in Rajshahi city.
Chief medical officer of Rajshahi University Tabibur Rahman Sheikh addressed the meeting as the chief guest while additional deputy commissioner Abu Hayat Rahmatullah and deputy civil surgeon Barnabaj Hashda spoke as the special guests.
City social service officer Md Ashikuzzaman, director of Barendra Unnayan Prochesta Foyzullah Chowdhury, president of Diner Alo Hizra Sangha Mohna and general secretary Sagarika Khan also spoke.
Taking part in the discussion, teachers Kamal Pasha and Golam Faruque Sarker from the Department of Anthropology at Rajshahi University disseminated their expertise on the issue.
In her concept paper presentation, Umme Farhana Zarif Kanta, programme manager of the BSWS, highlighted the activities of the organisation for elevating the living and livelihood conditions of transgender people in the country.
She pointed out that the members of the community were always subjected to negligence and repression in every sphere of life, including family and society.
The Hijra community was deprived of their basic rights, she added.
Tabibur Sheikh said the present government was very positive towards solving the problems of the hijra community.
He urged the people to change their attitude towards the transgender people and demanded quotas for them in education and job sectors.
He said the general people had a very narrow mindset regarding the genderless and should change their mentality.
Being rejected by families, many grew up hating their bodies and fell victims to depression, drug addiction, violence and suicide, he added.
Around 2.5 per cent people of the total population were genderless, Tabibur said.
Representatives of various government and non-government entities concerned attended the meeting and took part in its open discussion.