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Monday Apr 23 2018
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Vocational training centre for transgender persons starts in Lahore

Students in their class at the vocational training centre in Lahore for transgender persons. Photo: Geo News

LAHORE: A vocational training centre has been started in Model Town for transgender persons, aiming to make them eligible for taking decent jobs and living a dignified life.

At least 40 transgender persons between the ages of 18 and 45 are presently enrolled in the centre and say they want to start with learning English in order to confidently communicate with people.

The centre has been started by a non-government organisation in one of the Allied Schools, situated in Q-Block of Lahore’s model town. Classes would be held twice a week — on Saturdays and Sundays — in the school when it would be off for routine classes.

While talking to Geo News, an official of the NGO, Asif Shehzad said students at the centre would be enrolled in four-month-long courses during which they would be given lessons on embroidery, graphic designing, cooking. Besides vocational training, the transgender persons would also be taught basic subjects.

Efforts are being made to provide equal opportunities to transgender persons so that they can live a dignified life. For instance, on March 7, the Senate unanimously approved a bill for the protection of transgender persons. The bill was submitted by Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja in the House, aiming to provide for protection, relief and rehabilitation of rights of the transgender persons and ensure their welfare.

In the same month, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government issued driving licences to two transgender persons.

Besides, in 2012, the National Database and Registration Authority started providing transgender persons with three gender categories on the registration form for a computerised national identity card.

Nevertheless, abuse and exploitation of transgender persons is still common in the society. Many of them continue to be thrown out of their houses by their families, denied jobs and forced into inappropriate jobs like begging or dancing at weddings to make ends meet. 

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