The fifth phase of West Bengal assembly polls on Saturday will be a watershed for the third gender community as for the first time one of them has been made presiding officer for a booth in South Kolkata.
“We are calling it the transgender booth because Riya Sarkar, a transgender, will be the presiding officer. She will now be part of history of the inclusion of the transgender community into the mainstream society,” Smita Pandey, district electoral officer, Kolkata South, said.
The transwoman will be posted at one of the booths at South City International School which falls in Rashbehari assembly constituency.
A history teacher at Dum Dum Prachaya Bani Mandir for Boys school, she was born as Pankaj Sarkar and went for a sex realignment surgery in 2014 to become Riya Sarkar.
“It is a big honour not only for me but for the entire transgender community. I am very happy and proud on being given this task by the Election Commission,” Sarkar said.
She has been given training for handling polling booth and tackling challenges like other presiding officers.