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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Bindiya Rana

[thanks BS for this]

I really enjoyed `Bindiya Chamke Gi', a documentary by a young friend, Ragni Marea Kidvai. It was especially fascinating to hear Bindiya Rana speak at the end of the screening. (The film was made in 2007 and has been screened at the Kara Festval)

Bindiya is a member of the Khwaja Sira (preferred name for the Hijra) community. The film traces a day in her life and portrays the legal, social and cultural challenges that the Khwaja Sira community faces in present-day Pakistan.

To deal with these issues, Bindiya has started an NGO called Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA). She says they are not looking for money, but for medicines and office equipment. She has been going around visiting village and urban communities providing awareness about HIV Aids ever she since she herself first learnt recently about the issues involved.

She has been active in collecting data about members of the Khwaja Sira community to facilitate documentation as ordered by the Supreme Court as a first step towards some affirmative action for them, particularly in terms of education and employment.

She welcomes the Supreme Court's recent decision to provide employment opportunities for her community by involving them in the loan recovery programme (as is being done in India), but refuses to undertake this work without proper security and terms of reference. She says "we are not going to provide entertainment while collecting loans, we want to keep our dignity intact."
Bindiya Rana has studied until class eight, in her hometown in Old Sukkur. She has opened a centre operating from her home, where she provides training and awareness about health and HIV Aids. Every couple of months she wants to go back to the villages in Sindh and Balochistan where she has already visited communities. She has started her work without waiting for funding, and has so far been managing on private donations from well-wishers. She has written to the CM Sindh for an ambulance and doctor but has not heard back from his office so far.

Her contact details are:

Bindiya Rana,
President, Gender Interactive Alliance
H. no. 14, Street no. 1, Liaquat Ashraf Colony
Mehmoodabad, Karachi
Cell: 0300-2835478


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