South Asia News
Report: Pakistani city to hire eunuchs to collect outstanding dues
Feb 11, 2011, 11:18 GMT
Islamabad - The administration of a Pakistani city has announced plans to hire eunuchs to collect outstanding water bills, a media report said on Friday.
The Express Tribune reported that the authorities in Sialkot, a city in the eastern province of Punjab, were planning to hire up to 10 eunuchs as recovery officers on a contract basis.
The eunuchs would conduct a door-to-door campaign to recover the outstanding dues, city administrator Pervaiz Iqbal Butt told the newspaper.
It was hoped that the stigma surrounding eunuchs would encourage debtors to pay up, Rasool Bux Raees, a social scientist at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, told the German Press Agency dpa.
'The presence of a eunuch at someone's door in South Asia, singing in their way and demanding outstanding dues from the defaulter, would be considered as an insult and prompt many to pay the bills,' he explained.
The eunuchs are known as hijras in Pakistan. Some of the estimated 300,000 hijras are born with congenital defects, but most are men castrated, at an early age, for different reasons.
Shunned by the society for religious reasons, they live on begging, dancing at weddings and even prostitution.
In December 2009, Pakistan's Supreme Court first time allowed eunuchs to be identified as a separate gender and get a National Identity Card.
The three-member bench of the court headed by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, suggested the government to consider hiring eunuchs to recover outstanding loans.
Read more about Pakistan Society