From serious discussions to whimsical performances, each country around the world has found a unique way of creating awareness for World AIDS Day. After attending an event organized by the Khuwaja Sira Society, it is safe to say that Pakistanis sure know how to create their own niche.
No one knows how to turn a fearful tabooed topic into a happening event better than the Khuwaja Sira Society. For them, Worlds AIDS Awareness is a day of gold, glitter and glamour.
The event takes place every year to talk about HIV and AIDS awareness.
Khuwaja Sira Society (KSS) was founded in 2010 by Naz Male, and comprises of approximately 300,000 members, volunteers, and associates around the country.
The organization aims towards building a more equitable life for the transgender community in Pakistan.
In a society where speaking about AIDS is frowned upon, the KSS has found a way to reach out to the trans community in Pakistan, and help them in any way possible through their organization.
The World AIDS Awareness Day event started off with an introduction session that provided information regarding HIV/AIDS, the role that KSS plays in preventing it, and helping those affected by it. According to the Society, spreading awareness of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan is just as crucial as providing access to funding for its treatment. KSS aims to assist the trans community in preventing the spread HIV/AIDS through a movement of education and awareness.
The Party Has Started
Following the introduction, Ms. Jannat and Ms. Neeli announced that a Ms. KSS Pageant was to take place, along with some captivating performances. The announcement drastically altered the mood of the gathering!
The event continued in fiery speed as the contestants gave mesmerising performances. Each contestant was as beautiful and glamorous as the next, burning the dance floor away.
And The Winner Is!
After the dance performances, the Khuwaja Sira Society engaged in a discussion about their struggles.
They discussed things that cisgender folks often overlook, or do not necessarily see as achievements. The entire conversation was enlightening.
The Road Ahead
The spread of HIV/AIDS often goes hand-in-hand with stigma, discrimination and shame-based approaches to sexual health and activity.
Prevention and treatment can only be made possible through trust, openness, and dialogue within our communities. To truly make progress in terms of public health and the well-being of citizens, a humanitarian approach must be adopted, in which support and solidarity are foundational.
The work of organizations like Khuwaja Sira Society, Haath Barhao, Naz foundation and Dostana is monumental in ensuring Pakistan’s social and political development. With their efforts, lives are being saved, and a future is being built.
The first step in adopting the humanitarian approach is reconciling the inherent and equal humanity of those who are deemed different. An acknowledgement of difference allows for us to garner respect for even the small, curious aspects of life that we do not understand.
Though these efforts seem small, they lead the way to prevailing peace. It’s about time you stop fearing what you don’t understand, rather learn to accept it with open arms and respect it. You might just save a life or two!