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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Lok Sabha Elections 2019:Getting a voter ID tough for the third gender

There are about 1,000 transgender adults in Noida and about 2,000 in the entire Gautam Budh Nagar constituency.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 29, 2019 16:15 IST
Snehil Sinha
Snehil Sinha
Hindustan Times, Noida
With just three third gender voters in Noida, those from the transgender community say that getting registered is difficult as much documentation is required, which is not available with them.
With just three third gender voters in Noida, those from the transgender community say that getting registered is difficult as much documentation is required, which is not available with them.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)
         

With just three third gender voters in Noida, those from the transgender community say getting a voter ID is a tough task for them. They claim that while documentation is voluminous, officials are also not sensitive to their requests.

There are about 1,000 transgender adults in Noida and about 2,000 in the entire Gautam Budh Nagar constituency.

“We are a source of entertainment for most people. When we go for IDs, we are made fun of and then there is no cooperation on the part of officials to get IDs made. The administration office in Sector 19 made me run around so much that I gave up on getting a voter ID,” Ramkali, a transgender and founder of Basera Samajik Sansthan, said.

She said most officials are not even aware about the procedure to enrol third gender voters, while others just ask for too many documents.

“We live in rented houses, where the rent increases every third day and we can’t protest about it. We are just glad that someone is ready to rent their house to us. But expecting our landlord to make a formal agreement and share it with us is out of question. So where do we get an address proof from?” Mannat, another transgender who lives in Ghaziabad and works in Noida, said.

Also Read | Just 3 third gender voters in Noida, 133 in GB Nagar

Without documents to prove their transgender status, most third gender adults are registered as male or female voters. Transgenders said jobs are a concern that they expect the government to address. While third gender has been accepted as a category, most people are not sensitised enough to give jobs to transgenders.

“I can work at home, clean and cook. I can also paint and am good with makeup and beauty services. But no one is ready to employ me. People shy away from us or abuse us. When the government gave us ‘third gender’ status, they should also sensitise everyone that we are also ‘people’ who need to earn a living,” Visky, another transgender, said.

Of the registered 1,600 members of Basera, mostly from Noida and Greater Noida, only one has been able to get a job — of issuing gate passes at Delhi high court.

“Some transgenders live in toli (group) and may have money. Most are poor as they have no work. When everyone refuses to give us a job, sex work is the only thing we can do to earn a living. It is always a last resort,” Ramkali said.

Mona, a 19-year-old transgender, has an Aadhaar card as a female, but did not register as a voter this year.

“What is the point of getting a voter ID? These leaders never cared about us, our jobs or our living conditions. We are not important, as we are a very small vote bank. We only become important when people want us to bless them during their happy occasions,” Mona said.

First Published: Mar 29, 2019 16:15 IST