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Caritas Pakistan helps transsexuals, HIV sufferers

March 17, 2011
Caritas Pakistan helps transsexuals, HIV sufferers thumbnail
Archbishop Evarist Pinto of Karachi meeting transgendered in Karachi

CARITAS Pakistan in Karachi has extended a micro credit scheme to include people with HIV and transsexuals.

Six people with HIV, two of them transsexuals, were recent beneficiaries of the income generating program in Karachi archdiocese.

The scheme has helped 350 poor locals since it started in 2001 and offers loans from 5,000 rupees (US$ 58.66) up to 15,000 rupees at 20 per cent interest.

“This year we are targeting the most marginalized community. It is a good opportunity for people such as transsexuals with small incomes. The idea is to help them live with dignity; retain their identity and not having to be a sex toy or beggar”, said Mansha Noor, Caritas’ livelihood program coordinator.

The Catholic Church’s social arm helped Mohammad Arshad, a transsexual who runs a business making ice lollies. Now married, Arshad took out a 15,000-rupee loan and earns 3,000 rupees monthly. “The summer is coming and demand will increase my income, he said.

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