As in the case of many comparable countries, transgender people in Pakistan face a range of personal, social, cultural, and economic issues, often exposing them to a high risk of isolation and social exclusion. Consequently, these people remain among the most marginalized populations, with high incidence of persistent poverty and poor human capital development. These vulnerabilities make them a key group for the attention of social protection policymakers in the country. Recognizing these needs, PSPA intends to launch Masawaat Program. Under “Transgender Person’s Welfare Policy”, Masawaat Program has been initiated, with an outlay of Rs. 50.00 million. Masawaat program is comprising of unconditional cash transfers for elderly and differently abled Transgender Persons (TGPs), Job Opportunities and micro credit for promoting entrepreneurship among TGPs. This Program is providing unconditional cash transfer for elderly TGPs with the benefit amount of Rs. 3,000 per month and an unconditional cash transfer for disable transgender persons with the benefit amount of Rs. 2,000 per month.
This program is designed with the following objectives:
- To mainstream transgender persons, who are typically excluded from public services and programs, through providing means of livelihood, and education, health and housing services.
- To protect transgender persons against destitution by providing support for consumption, ensuring a minimum standard of living.
- To promote human capital accumulation in transgender persons and increase their access to productive assets and income generating activities.
- To improve the health of transgender persons to protect them from health shocks.
Initially, Masawaat Program will pick a subset of interventions proposed in the Transgender Persons Welfare Policy on administrative efficiency grounds. All registered TGPs in Punjab, will be eligible to receive interest-free loans under this program for setting up their own small businesses. PSPA in collaboration with Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) will offer interest-free loans for TGPs up to Rs.100,000/-. Free and accessible medical camps for screening, treatment and medicines for TGPs will be provided with the help of Health Departments and Private Sector companies. PSPA is also planning to collaborate with other private sector organizations to create job opportunities for TGPs.