Transpersons looking up to govt with a set of demands

Lack of awareness has been cited as a reason for more than 50 per cent of transpersons not actively participating in voting.

Published: 18th March 2021 11:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2021 11:52 AM   |  A+A-

EVM, Voting, Election

Image of EVMs used for representational purpose. (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)

Express News Service

TIRUCHY:  A large number of transgenders are excited to cast their votes for the first time after receiving Elector's Photo Identity Card (EPIC) this year, with high hopes that the political leaders would fulfil their demands, from providing proper shelter to permanent jobs.

According to electoral rolls released in January, the number of transgender voters stood at 231 in the district. Their participation in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections too saw an increase. During the  2014 LS polls, 40 out of the 80 transpersons voted while 64 out of 148 voted in the 2019 polls.

Lack of awareness has been cited as a reason for more than 50 per cent of transpersons not actively participating in voting.

People from the community say that most of the government welfare schemes have not reached them and their demands have not been fulfilled.

Sonalee, a transgender activist from Tiruchy, said, "The State government's welfare schemes have not reached people at the grassroots level. Most of us do not have a proper home or a permanent job. We wander like gypsies, doing menial jobs and seeking alms. We expect the new government to provide us house pattas.

There are more than 1,000 transgenders residing in the district, but only 231 of them have EPIC. Some of them are still waiting to get an ID card to certify them as a transperson, which is essential to get a voter card."

Sneha, the first transgender driver employed in the district administration, said, "Apart from financial assistance and other aid, we expect jobs in government sector. We are forced to wander on the streets due to lack of employment. The new government should appoint transgender counsellors in all government hospitals."

On improving voter percentage among transpersons, District Collector S Sivarasu told TNIE, "

Meetings and campaigns will be conducted among transpersons in the upcoming days to stress the importance of voting."

Officials said that transpersons would be encouraged to vote through welfare associations.


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