About 70% of the community has borrowed money from friends and relatives during the lockdown
Bandhu Social Welfare Society says 81% of the transgender, hijra, and gender-diverse population of Bangladesh are struggling financially and facing food crisis during the coronavirus pandemic.
The social welfare organization revealed the figure from a survey organized to assess the current situation of the transgender and hijra community of Bangladesh, according to a statement on Friday.
Most of the transgender community relies on begging or doing daily labour which requires going outside. As they were compelled to stay inside during the lockdown, they are quickly running out of their meager savings, the statement reads.
71% of the participants in the survey revealed that they borrowed money from friends and relatives during the lockdown.
Additionally, the survey revealed that around 93% are experiencing mental stress and anxiety due to the lockdown because of food and financial crisis alongside existing forms of stigma and discrimination.
26% of the community did not receive any kind of aid. Of those who received aid, 36% had to face verbal abuse when receiving the aid, according to the survey.
The survey report also states that almost all of the community heard about the Covid-19 pandemic through print, electronic, and social media, or through some other awareness mediums.
Bandhu, a leading community organization in the country, working for the transgender, hijra and gender-diverse population of Bangladesh, conducted the survey over phone and online.
88 transgender and hijra community members participated by answering a semi-structured questionnaire.
So far, Bandhu has distributed relief to 804 transgender, hijra, and gender-diverse persons.
The organization has also done a mapping of 3350 poor community members in all divisions of the country through its field offices and 35 affiliated organizations (Community Based Organizations).
It is preparing to provide relief and emergency support to another 1500 community members in the next phase.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Bandhu has extended its services and introduced two exclusive Helpline numbers.
One number is designated for mental health counselling to the community (01714048418) and another one for doctor counselling (01744755232) to improve emergency medical services for the transgender, hijra and gender-diverse community in Bangladesh.