TransEnd, a social welfare organisation that works to empower the transgender community, recently began their vaccine registration drive. They began the drive in the last week of February, and have registered more than 35 transgender individuals for the first dose of vaccination against Covid-19.
After noticing the discrimination faced by the transgender community, their young volunteers started visiting the homes of these people, conducting door-to-door registrations. "It requires minimum digital literacy, along with access to the internet and digital devices, to register for the vaccine. Unfortunately, most members of these communities cannot afford such services and this is where we step in with our support system," shared Lamea Tanjin Tanha, founder, TransEnd.
Some of the initial challenges faced by the volunteers include people's reluctance to register, given the various myths associated with the side-effects of vaccination. Many transgender individuals do not have NIDs. "Although transgender people got the right to vote in 2019, many are yet to receive their NIDs and this makes it difficult for us to register them," she added. They have so far covered regions around Mugda, Manda, Kamalapur, Basabo, TSC, Uttara, Mohammadpur, Lalmatia, Adabor, Badda and Rajshahi. In addition to the registration drive, the organisation is also working to spread awareness about the importance of vaccination.
The pandemic, and the subsequent months of isolation has affected the lives of transgender individuals adversely, with many of them losing their sources of income. In an attempt to extend their support, TransEnd is conducting a number of training programmes to help these people develop necessary skills for the workplace. The organisation plans to register at least 10,000 people of the transgender community, for vaccinations.