Maha to enroll more transgender voters
Transgenders in Maharashtra are becoming more aware of their electoral rights with Thane district registering the maximum voters from the community in the state this year.
In January 2014, there were only 261 voters enrolled in the ‘Others’ category in the state. In January 2015, the figure rose to 1,000 and last month it increased to 1,271, according to a senior electoral officer.
The maximum registration of 219 voters in this category came from Thane district, followed by Mumbai Suburban District with 174 and Ahmednagar with 111 voters. The enrolment of transgenders as voters is not limited to the three districts. There are others too like Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati, Nagpur, Yavatmal, Nanded, Palghar, Mumbai City, Pune, Solapur, Kolhapur and Sangli.
Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Shirish Mohod said, “We took the help of NGOs like Astitva of Laxmi Narayan Tiwari and Sangam, an NGO working among commercial sex workers, and held meetings with the police officials,” he said. “The Election Commission of India (ECI) gave publicity material like placards, posters and audio-visual short films to create awareness among them,” he said. The ECI electoral registration officers also held camps in in Mumbai areas of Kamathipura and Thane, he said.
He said the transgenders’ feared harassment by police if they disclosed their profession and the other problem they faced was lack of documents like birth certificates and proof of residence.