From: mohanlal panda <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 11:57 AM
Subject: Government must integrate the eunuchs into the social mainstream
Greetings from PVCHR.
Please refer to the DNA Newspaper Report dated 20th June, 2011.
For eunuchs, even slavery comes at a price
While human rights groups have extensively highlighted the existence of human trafficking in India that has enslaved millions of women and children, the slave-like condition in which most of the country's eunuchs live is still largely undocumented.
A group called 'Salvation of Oppressed Eunuchs' has made a film on the bonded life of a young eunuch who lives in a community in Virar. The 55-minute film titled Aur Neha Nahi Bik Payee, made by the group's chairman Dr Piyush Saxena, documents the life of Satish who is born with indeterminate gender. Driven out of home by his father, he finds shelter with a community of eunuchs where he takes on a new identity. Forced into prostitution due to financial demands made by the head of the community whom his inmates call 'guru', Satish leaves the group, only to land up in another abusive and exploitative situation.
Satish's story bears resemblance to the lives of most members of the country's 20-lakh-strong eunuch community. "The film highlights how eunuchs live in serfdom and bondage," said Saxena. The film has been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification and there are plans to screen it in Mumbai. Last week, the film was released at Ajmer, during the Urs of the Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti whom the eunuchs revere.
Sagar Yadav, a trustee of the group, added, "If the eunuch wants to leave the 'guru', They are subjected to beatings and torture if they do not obey their gurus or share their earnings. If they want to leave the group, they have to pay the guru. They often borrow from another guru to pay the previous one. Then they spend years paying the loan. This is a kind of bonded labour."
Saxena states that the 'price' of a eunuch is between Rs50,000 to Rs100,000. The castration procedure, called 'Nirvana', is illegal, and forces many to turn to quacks for the operation, putting them at great risk. "No surgeon will do the emasculation surgery, since they need certificates from an urologist, a psychiatrist and other experts that the person needs such a surgery. The poor eunuch has no access to expensive surgeons. So they go to quacks," said Saxena.
Dr. Mohanlal Panda
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