As Pakistan struggles to accept the existence of its local transgender community, many activists remain buried deep in their efforts to stand up for the rights of these oppressed souls.
Aradhiya Khan Jack – a transgender activist and model – has been an active leader of the community, holding talks and lectures to motivate the transgender community and also raise awareness about the violence against them. Aradhiya – alongside Sarosh Qalani and Muhammad Salman Khan – has created a campaign to spread awareness about the problems that transgender individuals face through the power of photography.
With Aradhiya as the model, these pictures depict the horrors transgender individuals go through on a daily basis.
Talking about this picture in particular, Aradhiya said:
“She begs because she has no employment. There is the Transgender Protection Act but there is no implementation. In Karachi, the police force itself harasses transgenders and refuses to file their FIRs. They especially arrest those transgenders who are begging.”
The project depicts a series of incidents that have become routine in the lives of the transgender community. Such incidents include assault and harassment.
“These pictures are very strong and depict their own stories,” says Aradhiya. “Transgenders are often victims of sexual and domestic violence in their homes… when transgenders are raped, no one talks about it.”
It also highlights how society pushes these individuals to the very edge, making them feel like their lives are not worth living.
Addressing the same, here’s what Aradhiya stated:
“We talk about a lot of issues but no one ever talks about the mental health of transgenders – people just don’t know. It’s okay to say that you’re not okay. There is no acceptance in life, no love, and no opportunities.”
However, the project also depicts ways through which we, as a society, can and should change to give them the dignified life they deserve.
For instance, it paints a picture of a universe in which a transgender individual in a grocery store is simply routine, thereby aiming to normalize the existence of the community.
It also paints a picture of acceptance within social circles.
Aradhiya shared her thoughts on the picture shown above:
“Everything is normal here – we’re chilling and playing Ludo. Everyone is normal and no one is judging anyone. No one cares about which gender you belong to and I think this would be an ideal Pakistan.”
We applaud this team for their amazing efforts towards raising awareness about the plight of the transgender community in Pakistan. Comment below and let us know what you think about this great initiative.
Cover Image Via: Aradhiya Khan / Facebook