After government turns deaf ear, data on SGM collected
Kathmandu( Pahichan) June 19 – As government’s data on earthquake affected population largely overlooked sexual and gender minorities, Blue Diamond Society and Federation of Sexual and Gender Minority in Nepal have collected some data on its own. The data includes SGM death, SGM injured and SGM’s house destroyed. Similarly, data included SGM displaced and SGM lost their livelihood.
According to data, SGM faced discrimination from police, government, families, and landlords among others. Majority of third genders have no legal ID that truly identify them who they are, hence government official refuses to include them into their data, either injured or displaced or their homes are destroyed.
Many SGM faced huge difficulties accessing toilets after the earthquake at relief camps as these camps were setup into binary gender segregated concepts, no toilets were available for SGMs. Police intensified their ‘transgender chasing mission’ after the earthquake, leading to extremely difficult situations to many third gender even walking to the streets.
Many landlords just doubled their rent to third SGMs renting rooms in Kathmandu and other earthquake affected cities. Many Transgender sex workers have lost their livelihood due to earthquake Many SGMs who lost their homes still have not found shelter; they have not received any support to rebuild their homes either, according to data.
Those SGMs who even lost their rented rooms now cannot find any rooms in Kathmandu and other cities for rent. Nobody likes to rent their rooms to SGMs. Due to trauma and continuous discrimination many SGMs are facing mental health problems. They are afraid, depressed and suicidal. Many GSM, especially Transgender, reported that they had to perform forced sex as they were exposed into the open during the nights and nowhere to go. The supply of condom and lubricant also not available for several weeks after the earthquake and unsafe sexual practice are in the rise since then.
FSGMN and BDS got some support from SAVE, UNICEF, Red Cross, logistic management bureau and received tents, blankets, water purifier, gloves, marks, Medicines. All the items were distributed as relief though it was not sufficient. Some of the community members received accommodation at hospice home of Blue Diamond Society which is meant for terminally ill HIV positive MSM/TGs, as there was not place and community got scared of frequent aftershock. Government has been urged to make their data system inclusive as well as plans and programs. Similarly, donors have been urged to make their aid policy inclusive and SGM friendly.