During 2017 Punjab assembly elections, transgender people will be lining up outside the polling booths and exercising their right to vote as third gender.
Earlier, they used to enlist themselves either as male or female in official documents, however this time it has changed and an option of ‘other’ has been made available on the voter-id form.
The process of having them registered as voters is already underway in poll bound state and the district administration has recognised 15 transgenders as ‘third gender’ voter in both Patiala urban and rural constituencies.
“Most members of the community were forced to register themselves as male or female voters but this time they have been registered as third sex,” said Hardev Singh, election tehsildar.
Election Commission officials said they have been trying to ensure that all voters from the category enlist themselves in a separate column.
“I have been using my right to vote and this time also I will cast my vote. We have a right to vote and recognition as third gender. Hopefully, this will end face discrimination which we have to face at various places. Doctors and police treat us as unseeable” said Mahant Reeta, a transgender.
Reeta also said she would give vote for a party which would make policies for the welfare of the community.