India: Parties ignore us, say trans women

According to his Aadhaar card, Koushik Dutta is a transgender but he has still not applied for an amendment in the Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC).

“I shall do so after undergoing changes over the next year. It will cost a lot of money and we receive no assistance. In fact, no political party even talks of doing anything for us. I insist on voting though to show that people like us are part of society as much as anybody else,” Dutta told TOI after casting his vote at the Chhandarbagan Primary School in Cossimbazaar.

“My family and neighbourhood accepted me for what I am but the government needs to take the matter seriously. This is no crime and the entire process costs Rs 3.5-5 lakh. There would be nearly 800-900 people like me in Behrampore who have come out of the closet. Unfortunately, there are others who have been shunned by family and friends and become ‘hijras’,” said Dutta, a professional dancer who works for an NGO.

Kanchan Roy isn’t as lucky as Dutta and could not vote as her EPIC is at her maternal home in Farakka. The 31-year-old changed into a female in 2015 and married an IT engineer who now stays in Behrampore. Her family, a conservative Muslim family, disowned her. Even her husband faced problems but is very supportive. Roy completed her first-year masters degree in English and teacher’s training and also qualified for TET. Read more via Times of India