MYSURU:N As many as 393 candidates are contesting the Mysuru City Corporation elections scheduled for Friday. But one candidate stands out. It is Chandini, a transgender.
She has dropped her hat into the ring as an independent in Ward 27 where she is taking on candidates of Congress, JD(S), BJP, SDPI and All India New Congress.
Her promise is straightforward: There are 392 candidates for a population of 8 lakh. “I want to be the voice of 10,000 transgenders and sex workers in Mysuru city”.
Hailing from a poor family in Baddemakan, a slum in Tipu Circle, Chandini’s dream could not come true during the previous elections as the ward was reserved for scheduled castes.
Her attempts to get the Congress ticket this time did not work as party leaders promised her to consider her in the next elections. But, that has not stopped her from contesting as an independent candidate from Ward 27 that covers Baddemakan, Jail Quarters, Veeanagere, Lashkar Mohalla, Moh Sait Block, parts of Gandhinagar and other localities with 10,569 voters.
Chandini who has been in public life for more than 15 years has raised her voice for transgenders and sex workers on various platforms. She said she dreams of getting houses for shelterless people of slums and constructing a community hall.
“We have no toilets in anganwadi and government schools need upgrading with better facilities”, she said.
Chandini said many people who paid Rs 10100 deposit to the Slum Board are yet to get houses for years. The long wait should end and many of the homeless transgenders live on platforms of bus stands and railway stations, she said.
Claiming that there is an overwhelming response from the people to her commitment, Chandini thanks women self help groups for “aggressively” campaigning for her for past 10 days. There are also 1,000 transgenders in her ward.
“I have spent my savings of `50,000 and many SHGs and friends have also extended help to fight the polls against wealthy candidates of prominent political parties. I will not bow out of the race and will show the beauty of democracy by winning the polls”, she added.