” Some people told me, you go to the hijra neighborhood! I have heard similar comments from people who are close to me.” Biprajit Chanda Bappa, a Dhaka-based journalist in Bangladesh, thus highlighted his bitter experience. These third-gender communities, who feel comfortable calling themselves Hijra, have not been able to get into the street business during the lockdown during the Covid pandemic. Some media workers in the country voluntarily stood by their side during the Covid crisis. Today is the final episode, about some third genders who are deprived of Covid vaccine. – Writer Farhana Nila.
It was 10 o’clock at night. A few youth journalists were packing some food products and medicines after their professional work. The aim is to deliver these products to the underprivileged people of the transgender community arias in the dead of night.
This is an old story & picture of the covid epidemic. But still, these young journalist volunteers have not removed themselves from service. One of them, Biprajit Chanda Bappa, said, “During the lockdown, we are some media workers formed a volunteer group and tried to help the helpless people. We have served some funds, food products, and advice on vaccines and Covid. In the same way, we also serve the third-gender population. third-gender live together in one area. Whereas normal people go less. We went there and told them to take the vaccine, and gave them some idea of what to do in case of corona. Also helped with medicine and food. Some people in our society did not take it well. I had to hear a lot of ugly comments. However, even in the dark of night, we have done the service work for the trance genders.
Hijra Munni Akhter said, “Lockdown in the country. I can’t go to the market. Even though there are no people on the way. What shall we eat? Some of us were thought where to get food the next day. At that time, suddenly heard some brothers bringing food and medicine for us. At least for 15 days, the food cravings are gone. Not only that, they also taught us how to register on the mobile phone and go for the vaccine. Why have to take the vaccine? What will happen if the vaccine is not taken?
Why this good work experience is called a bitter experience? In response to the question journalist Biprajit said, “When we go to these transgender areas to warn them about Covid or advise them to take the vaccine, I have to be a victim of many trolls. I have heard such comments that “You don’t like normal people! you started serving the people of the Hijra neighborhood! Someone said, what is it for us if the hijra dies? And what is the benefit for us if the hijra lives? Many people in my family then say you serve others. But don’t let go transgenders area. I am very surprised that educated people still see them differently. But we continue our work secretly at night. And still, we are working for these third gender committees.”
While describing the current work, this young volunteer journalist said, “We still communicate with people of the third gender. Sadly, despite understanding the importance, many of them have not yet taken the When asked to know the reason, they said, till now, when they go to the vaccination center, no one accepts them favorably. Many nurses don’t want to vaccinate them with their hands. Says a lot of bad things. So they don’t even like to go to the vaccination center.”
But we don’t stop. Biprojit said,”We are trying, we will register them. And take them to the vaccination center and vaccinate them.”
Hijra community has always been neglected in our country. Deprived of property, education, and even medical care. Some images of that have been presented in this three-part report. While the world is fighting to destroy the covid, many people are still getting infected due to the wrong decisions of some people. 32 new corona cases were detected in Bangladesh on 2 August 2023. On July 31, one person died due to corona. And so it is urgent to bring all people under the vaccine. In that case, attention should be paid to the third-gender population who have not yet received the vaccine. Md. Moshiur Rahman, senior project manager of Bandhu Social Welfare Society, and health expert Dr. M A Aziz gave importance to 3 issues.
First, social attitudes need to change. Third-gender communities are also part of the society, they are not separate people.
Secondly, it is necessary to make an accurate figure of how many of the Third-gender are still not covered by the vaccine.
Thirdly, through international. public & private counseling, the misconceptions and fears of the transgender population should be broken and they should be covered by vaccines.
Farhana Nila working as a Senior Reporter at News Now Bangla. Recently she won the “Internews Let’s Talk Vaccine Asia Fellowship”. The story is published under the project of this fellowship.