Blame it on lack of essential documents like birth or education certificates, only 1,501 people from the transgender community have enrolled themselves for the Lok Sabha election. Joint chief electoral officer Ravi Kiran Tirumala said the number of transgenders enrolling for the Lok Sabha polls from the state has gone down when compared to the numbers registered during the December Assembly election. There are some 90,000 (as per Tata Institute of Social Sciences) transgender individuals in Telangana.
“During the Assembly election, 2,800 transgenders had enrolled themselves in the voter list, but now we have only 1,501 people from the community till Friday. We organised awareness campaigns in Medak, Khammam and Warangal districts, encouraging people from the community to enroll. We found that most of them had already enrolled. Not as a third gender, but as male or female,” Ravi Kiran said.
According to him, social stigma or lack of proper documents is one of the main reasons for the low enrollment. “We are not stressing too much on change of gender, as there is social stigma attached to it. It is important they participate. Another issue is that people from the community keep changing their location. But shockingly, we found that some people from the community have applied for form-7 and changed their gender from third gender to male or female,” Ravi Kiran said.
A 29-year-old transwoman from the city, Heema (name changed), said nothing has been done for the community by the government and practising her voting right would mean nothing for the community. “Why should I take all the trouble to go from office to office, obtain an identity proof and vote when nothing is going to change for the community,” Heema lambasted.
Heema said the government had not framed a transgender policy on the lines of the NALSA judgment. “The judgment ensures transgender and Hijra community people reservation in government jobs, right to housing and medical services. Has anything been done on that front,” she sought to know. Read more via Times of India