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Eunuch from India fights for respect at UN AIDS meets June 13, 2008

Posted by nitinkarani in English, HIV, Homophobia, Online/New Media, Television, Transgender.
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Lalit K Jha

An Indian eunuch Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is fighting for the rights and respect of the global transgender community during the ongoing United Nations high level meeting on AIDS.

After meeting a large number of ambassadors, diplomats, world leaders and social activists who from all over the world have gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York for the HIV/ AIDS meet, Tripathi told NDTV.Com in an interview that she is here to fight for transgender community, who have been deprived of their basic rights and are not being treated as human being.

”I am raising the main issues of sex workers and sexual minorities who are treated with total disrespect. I am trying to bring the attention of the whole world to the issue of sexual minority,” Tripathi said. ”I want that people should be more humane, they should consider each other as human being, and to respect them just to consider them as transgender,” she said.

Born in an orthodox Brahmin family in 1979, Tripathi has the distinction of being the only eunuch in the UN’s Civil Society Task Force on HIV/AIDS. In fact a UN event on HIV/AIDS has included transgender persons in the work of civil society caucus for the first time: a development greeted with cheers among eunuchs worldwide.

”The fact that I’m here should be a big achievement, but it amounts to nothing,” she said during a press conference at the UN headquarters media briefing room.

Sitting on the same chair, which is very often occupied by visiting heads of states and the UN Secretary General himself, Tripathi asked correspondents: ”Am I invisible? You all can see me. Then, why we the transgender are treated as invisible?”

Speaking flawless English to the surprise of many UN correspondents, Tripathi explained that throughout the global South, especially in countries where transgender persons were also part of an ethnic group, sexual minorities were forced to beg for basic services and health care or forced into sex work because there was no political will to recognise their fundamental rights.

”Health services for people suffering from HIV AIDS are out of the question because doctors don’t want to touch you,” she said.

Observing that transgender people are very often threatened with stoning and death, Tripathi said that transgender communities are often afraid to assert their rights because they know that authorities would not back them up. ”It is now up to the UN to wake people up so that we are recognised as human beings,” she said.

”This is a mission, which I want to accomplish,” Tripathi told NDTV.Com after the press conference. ”Governments are treating us like shits. We can’t let this happen anymore,” she said.

Running an NGO called Astitva in Mumbai for the welfare of sexual minorities, Tripathi alleged that be it in the developed or the developing countries or the underdeveloped world, sexual minorities are not taken into consideration at all.

Observing that the condition of her community worldwide is pathetic, Tripathi said: ”They have no human rights, no right to education and no right for employment. If you do not have education, you do not have capacity to work or set up a business.”

Tripathi has been the centre of attraction during the UN meet. Standing five feet and eleven inches above ground and wearing colorful saree with glittering jewellery, she always caught people’s attention as she moved around the UN building.

”Even simple thing like access to medicine is big thing for us. Doctors are not ready to touch you,” she said. This is not only in India, and under developed and developing countries but also in developed countries, she argued.

”Governments have no interest for them, the politicians do not want to please them,” said Tripathi, who has made several passionate speeches during the UN meeting on the same lines.

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Comments»

1. hijdaeunuchblog - June 13, 2008

Its time the transgender voice was heard globally, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi had done a lot for the community, I fail to understand why other States of India dont implement the path that the erstwhile Tamil Nadu government had taken in alleviating the lot of the Aravanis, without making it a political stunt.

For this purpose I started my hijda eunuch blogs to show the Hijdas in their normal surroundings.

Firoze Shakir
Photographerno1

2. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi « HIJDA EUNUCH BLOG - June 13, 2008

[…] June 13, 2008 by hijdaeunuchblog An interesting article on Laxmi Narayan Tripathi by Lalit K Jha a must read I  copied the link .. https://qmediawatch.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/eunuch-from-india-fights-for-respect-at-un-aids-meets/ […]

3. ‘The Term Eunuch..is Derogatory’ -Laxmi « HIJDA EUNUCH BLOG - June 14, 2008
4. Firoze Shakir Poet » ‘The Term Eunuch..is Derogatory’ -Laxmi - June 14, 2008
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8. Tomas Eric Nordlander - August 22, 2008

Human Rights Defence has now announced the results our essay competition. At third place Shoma A. Chatterji’s “Eunuchs of India – Deprived of Human Rights” is placed. Here is a snippet from its introduction…

“The International Human Rights Day comes and goes every year. Human Rights activists talk of torture of under trials in police custody. They talk about human beings being subjected to medical experimentation without their conscious knowledge. They discuss socially relevant subjects like violence against women, child abuse, trafficking or exploitation of child labour in TW countries. But the lot of the community of eunuchs is largely ignored even by their own. It is also true that at every stage of their existence, their rights to live and work like normal human beings are violated with impunity.”

If you like to read more, you will find it on our site: http://www.humanrightsdefence.org

Yours sincerely,

Tomas Eric Nordlander
HumanRightsDefence
HumanRightsDefence

9. bollywoods most wanted photographerno1 - December 10, 2008

[…] qmediawatch.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/… […]

10. Firoze Shakir Poet » Alpha Inventions -Spiralling Blog Stats - December 10, 2008

[…] qmediawatch.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/… […]


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