Pakistan will send transgenders to the annual Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia this year to serve as ‘Khuddamul Hujjaj’ or volunteers.
The transgenders would be part of a team, consisting of over 150 boy scouts.
“Efforts for sending transgender youth to Saudi Arabia to serve as Khuddamul Hujjaj are underway,” confirmed IPC Sindh Boys Scouts Commissioner Atif Amin Husain.
“At least two to three transgender persons will be selected from each of the remaining three provinces for joining the scouting community that leaves for Saudi Arabia every year,” he added.
Recently, 40 transgender youth from Sindh were administered oath on joining the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association (PBSA), a national scouting organisation and one of the largest volunteer forces in Pakistan.
Husain explained, “The recruitment process for ‘Khuddamul Hujjaj’ includes physical training and a test. After that, the PBSA sends a list of successful candidates to the Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony for a final approval. This year the list would also contain names of transgender youth.”
Husain opined that the recruitment of the transgender youth in the PBSA would lead to social acceptance, attaining confidence and feeling secure.
Qamar Naseem, the Programme Coordinator of Blue Veins, a transgender welfare association said, “After the recruitment of 40 transgender persons in Sindh, we are planning recruitment processes in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.”
“This can be a game changer and can significantly improve the social acceptance of transgender youth in our society, he added.”