Transgender lends healing touch to patients - ECAS Punjab

Transgender lends healing touch to patients

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Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, May 10

Despite receiving a number of warnings from her parents and villagers to stop going to the Civil Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic, Gurpreet Kaur, alias Gopi, a transgender sanitation worker at the Civil Hospital, Jalandhar, is not only cleaning the isolation ward but also going out of her way to cheer Covid patients.

Keeping them in high spirits

I work for 12 hours a day. I change the bed sheets of patients, collect the garbage and mop the floor. I make sure patients don't feel low. So, I sing and dance for them. At times, they join me. — Gurpreet Kaur, Sanitation worker

The video of Gopi singing "Dunia hai mere pichhe" and dancing to the beats of "Tu laung te main lachi" was widely circulated and appreciated on the social media. However, it has not gone down well with her parents and village residents who accused her of bringing embarrassment to the village.

Talking to The Tribune, Gopi, a resident of Mirpur Village, Kapurthala, said after her family members saw the video on the social media yesterday, they humiliated her and told her to quit the job and stay home. "I have been working here as a sweeper on a contractual basis for the past decade. The hospital is like my home and patients are my extended family. During this tough time, it is my responsibility as a sanitation worker to clean the wards even if it is an isolation ward," she said.

"I work for 12 hours a day. I change the bed sheets of patients, collect the garbage and mop the floor," Gopi said, adding that she makes sure that away from their families, the patients do not feel low, which is why she often sings and dances for them. "At times, they too join me and we sing and dance together, forgetting about the virus," she said.

Sharing her journey, Gopi said although the perception about transgenders had changed, some people still see the community differently.

"I try not to let this discrimination affect me, but the rejection from my family hurts. People should understand that before male, female or transgender, we all are humans. I am a 'kinnar' but that doesn't make me any less of a normal human being," she added. She further made an appeal to the Punjab Government to regularise contractual sanitation workers who had been rendering their services for a long time now.

from The Tribune

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