Transgender individuals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been integrated into the Benazir Income Support Program. Faisal Karim Kundi, Federal Minister of State for Poverty Alleviation and Social Security, presented cash to transgender woman Jahanzeb, also known as Almas, from Dera Ismail Khan district.
While the program has garnered praise from the transgender community, concerns among community leaders remain.
Arzoo Khan, the provincial president of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Transgender Community, mentioned that the inclusion of Jahanzeb, aka Almas, in the program is a positive step. However, Arzoo, the first transgender individual from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to register for the “X card” of the Benazir Income Support Program about three months ago, highlighted that 13 eunuchs from Peshawar alone have registered but are yet to receive the promised amount. Arzoo further emphasized that the transgender population is substantial, particularly in Peshawar with around 15,000 individuals.
Over the past few years, there has been a concerted effort to issue cards for transgender individuals regularly. Challenges and reasons prevent the majority from acquiring these cards, resulting in only a few being issued. The delay in the disbursement of funds under the Benazir Income Support Program has left many registered transgender individuals awaiting their payment.
Federal Minister of State Faisal Karim Kundi affirmed that, in addition to deserving women, transgender individuals have been incorporated into the Benazir Income Support Program. This inclusion marks a significant stride, providing a regular financial boost to the transgender community. The initiative will continue in the future, with registered eunuchs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa receiving the designated amount every three months. This incorporation into the program stands as a substantial form of financial aid.
It is worth noting that the Benazir Income Support Program, a federal initiative, provides financial assistance of 9,000 rupees to widows and deserving women across the country every three months.