The third gender in Jammu and Kashmir has claimed ignorance and social stigma as reasons for low voter registeration in state, where only 97 transgenders registering are registered to vote. They have asked political parties to address issues like lack of third gender’s acceptance in the mainstream.
Neelu, a transgender who is part of a dance group that performs at social functions, says she has no faith in any political leader or party.
“In 2008, I went to attend several election rallies and in every rally, the politicians talked about the issue of men and women, but nobody ever spoke a single word about the problems we faced,” Neelu said. She said politicians were not interested in their issues as transgenders don’t form a vote bank.
Forty-year-old Kamla claims there are a large number of transgenders in the state but they are afraid of being vocal about it due to social stigma.
“There are more than 100 members of third gender in RS Pura alone,” Kamla, a transgender hailing from RS Pura and a registered voter from here, said.
As per the data provided by the election commission, out of the 72,25,559 voters registered in Jammu and Kashmir, 37,93,618 are males, 34,31,844 are females, while only 97 are transgenders.