Donor agencies should continue their assistance: Monika Says: I am preparing to scale Mount Everest

Kathmandu/Pahichan- My name is Monika Shahi. I live in Kailali, Tikapur. I am currently being involved in the campaign launched by Blue Diamond Society which aims to secure the rights of bisexuals and transgender. We are launching awareness campaign but rights of homosexuals and transgender are still being breached in the society.

Unfortunately, Norwegian Embassy has stopped providing assistance to us. Our program was heading towards progression from zero level. Such programs will help to end the violation of human rights. The recent decision taken by Norwegian embassy has demoralized us.

If donor agencies stop the assistance, it would obviously create many problems. We need money to work in each and every sector. It is harder to work in the rural areas offering new packages without assistance. We need money which will boost our morale. Those countries and donor agencies should continue their assistance. We homosexuals and transgender want to be strong and self-reliant also through massive awareness.  We need develop thinking that we should do something in our own way.

We have not prepared any future plan in the absence of support from donor communities. If we do not get the assistance, our campaign will face obstacles.  Many programs in some districts have already been affected, and we need urgent support. The Pahichan Radio program which used to be transmitted from 14 FM stations has been stopped which has affected the people.  After the shutdown of program has made us cripple and it is demoralizing our morale.

We are hopeful that Chairman of Blue Diamond Society Pinki Gurung and Acting Director Manisha Dhakal will take initiation to resume the radio programs collecting the necessary funds.  They should think seriously and responsibly about the resumption of program related to human rights.

The Pahichan program is a very good program. The program helped us to understand about the homosexuals and transgender.  Understanding itself helps to solve the problems faced by sexual minorities.  The program was a major component of LGBTI and people form the rural areas received a lot of information about this community but the program has been stopped now.

The Pahichan Radio program and human rights program has been stopped which has affected the whole community. The program has created an atmosphere of positive thinking.  We again asked to the concerned stakeholders to continue their assistance so that we can reopen the program.

We had three main priority—citizenship, legalizing same-sex marriage and provision of transgender while issuing third gender—we have achievement some of these demands. Now, government has begun to provide citizenship. We are continuing the legal battle to ensure the provision of third gender who have already acquired citizenship.

A committee has just submitted a report to government recommending government to legalize the same-sex marriage. Government is yet to formulate law. We are in the process of acquiring passport according to our own identity. I am competing to become first to take the passport that addresses our identity.  If government legalizes same-sex marriage I am planning to provide a message among people after the marriage.

 I urge government to take prompt measure to ensure same-sex marriage.  It is true that Monika is trying to scale Mount Everest. The aim is to bring a change in mindset of the people and society towards sexual minorities.  I want to prove that not only the man and women, people with transgender also can do something remarkable.  It is not my personal issue; it is linked with the state. Government has not taken sufficient attention to our demands but we have informed the government.  Man and women have scaled the Everest but transgender is yet to scale it. I want to wave a flag of third gender in the Mount Everest. Instead of boosting my morale, government is demoralizing me.

This is not a personnel issue of Monica. I will have two things—one Nepal and another national flag—remaining one flag are of homosexuals and transgender.  Government ministers should take this issue seriously.  There are homosexuals and transgender in other countries. This is matter of pride and opportunity for the government.

If homosexuals and transgender of other countries scale the Mount Everest, our country will have to regret.  I kindly request Nepal government to take my request seriously. If I scale the Mount Everest, Nepal will gain the prestige and fame. There is a need of bringing change in the mindset of politicians who are nationalists.  I am eagerly waiting to scale the Mount Everest, and I hope government will not take any fees from me. I am waiting for an appropriate environment to scale Mount Everest.

 By : Ambika Dahal