LGBTI are more vulnerable to natural disaster : Participants

Kathmandu (Pahichan) January 21 – Members of gender and sexual minority have said that they still fear about the earthquake. Due to the separate identity, according to them, they face more problems than male and female.

Speaking at an interaction organized by Nepal Red Cross Society, members of this community were asked about the fears they faced during the time of natural disasters. They replied though they fear from all disasters, the earthquake gave them more fear than others.

During the natural disaster and catastrophic situation, members of this community face dual problems: one like other normal people and another is discrimination against this community.

Transgender Bhumika Shrestha said they were compelled to close the office of Blue Diamond Society for some period due to the earthquake.  She said the branches of BDS residing in Madhes were suffered from cold wave, floods and landslides.

She said though members of this community are not exposed to other disasters, there is a need of creating awareness to keep secure during such natural disasters. She said there are no remedial measures in earthquake like in fire, road accident among others.

Rukshana Kapali, a transgender, said they also fear about the epidemic due to the growing pollution in the Kathmandu valley. She underlined the several health related problems due to the pollution. Similarly, Kapali said that issues related to drinking water, land, cleanliness are other vulnerable problems in the Kathmandu valley.

Peter Tamang, a homosexual male said that along with the pain of disaster, they are facing discrimination in the society which has given them pain in the society. Tamang said they face the financial problems in the time of such crisis. Transgender Sudeep Gautam said it is very difficult to stay in community tent due to the time of earthquake. Gautam said they are facing mental pressure due to the several problems including toilets.

Rights activist Shrestha suggested stopping the deforestation while Ruksana Kapali said government should introduce a policy to protect the environment and projecting the fertile land.  Kapali said as the public taps of Kathmandu valley are becoming dry, there is not easy availability of water to drink.

homosexual male Peter Tamang said people should be aware about such problems instead of passing blames only to government. Participants in the program said due to centralized system, the population is increasing rapidly making vulnerable to more disasters. Participants also said that they did not get relief materials during the earthquake. Members said BDS provided some relief though there is tendency that people who have access are getting such relief.