KATHMANDU, Nov 27: No other group might have waited as eagerly for the final report of the census 2011 as they did. But the report published on Monday brought no smiles, but only sadness to this group - the third gender - who claims they constitute 10 percent of the total population of the country.
“We were hopeful that the census result would give us a reason to celebrate. But it only mentions men and women in the report. We are quite disheartened,” said Pinky Gurung, president of Blue Diamond Society (BDS).
“Despite having sizable numbers, we have faced severe discrimination from families, society and the state for centuries. We were very hopeful we would be included in the census this time as a separate group, but we are yet again disappointed,” she added.
According to Gurung, BDS is in contact with 400,000 lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI), but the actual number of the group was as high as 10 percent of the population.
Gurung told Republica that BDS had several rounds of talk on the inclusion of the third gender with key officials at the ministry of population prior to the census survey. As the result, the government finally prepared a form with the types of individuals- male, female.
“However, this form was used just in the first phase of the survey. In the second phase, they took no detail of our kind, already hinting that they would not consider us in the population count,” Pinky recounted.
Following the lack of collection of detail in the second phase of survey, BDS again went to the ministry and were assured of a separate intensive survey which would be done for them, Gurung claimed.
“Now they have already published the report without any information about us. They still say that our size would be made public soon but we seriously doubt that,” Gurung said. “Even if the statistics bureau announces our number it can hardly be accurate.”
Rudra Suwal, chief of the population department at the central bureau of statistics agreed. According to him, the reason behind the lack of the third gender´s count in the census was due to the complicated process to collect their data. “It is not that we intentionally missed their count in the final report. In fact, it needed very intensive and special survey to collect their details and we could not do this time. So whatever data we publicize soon cannot be taken as accurate data,” he said.
Suwal, however, said the data to be announced in a month or two will still be very significant as it would be the first time the group would be recognized in the census. “In the survey we have found the number of this group to be 200,000. Soon it will be formally announced,” he said.