JAIPUR: Ahead of assembly elections, the community has raised the issue of providing voter cards mentioning ‘transgender’ on them, just like they have ‘male’ and ‘female’ mentioned on them. In the 2013 assembly elections, only 35 transgender persons had cast ballots. But the transgender population in the state is much higher.
State’s additional chief electoral officer, Dr Jogaram, issued directions to all district election officers, on August 21, to ensure full participation of the transgender community in the upcoming assembly polls.

He directed them to take help of the social justice and empowerment department officials, for reaching out to the transgender community people, living in groups. Booth-level officers have been directed to go to such areas and register them in the electoral rolls.

Also, directions have been issued to take help from the transgender community in the districts, for the purpose. Moreover, officials will also coordinate with a social activist of the transgender community, Pushpa Mai, for getting more transgender persons on the voters’ list.

Attributing the census of 2011, Jogaram pointed out that there are more than 16,000 persons from the transgender community in the state. But, only 350 are listed in the electoral rolls.

However, the transgender community claims that there is over one lakh population of transgenders in the state. But they do not have proper IDs to avail the benefits of government schemes. Election Commission has issued directions to all booth-level officers to take help of influential transgender community people, to prepare voter cards mentioning ‘transgender’ on them.

“It is high time that the transgender people demand for voter cards with ‘transgender’ mentioned on them. The voter card is a proof of their identity. The social schemes launched by the government for benefitting the transgender community can only be availed if they have the proof, which identifies them as transgenders,” said Pushpa Mai, transgender rights activist.

Recently, the state government issued orders for reserving two percent houses under government schemes, for people from the transgender community.

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