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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Only 9 transgenders from Gurugram enrolled as voters

Transgender activists said that many people refrain from enrolling themselves due to the stigma that they face at every level.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 27, 2019 05:37 IST
Sadia Akhtar
Sadia Akhtar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Only nine transgender voters from Gurugram are enrolled in the ‘others’ category in the electoral list for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections scheduled for May 12.
Only nine transgender voters from Gurugram are enrolled in the ‘others’ category in the electoral list for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections scheduled for May 12.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT File PHOTO)
         

Only nine transgender voters from Gurugram are enrolled in the ‘others’ category in the electoral list for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections scheduled for May 12.

As per the election commission of Haryana, 144 transgender voters in the state have so far been enrolled — a negligible number compared to the estimated population of transgenders in the state. As per the 2011 Census of India, the state has 8,422 transgenders and it is expected to have increased further.

Transgender activists said that many people refrain from enrolling themselves due to the stigma that they face at every level. “There is no acceptance in the society. Transgenders continue to be teased and harassed by people. When we are denied basic human rights, what is the surety that casting votes will bring any change to the situation for us? Most people continue to vote as male or female. There is little space for non-binary people in the system,” said Dhananjay Chauhan, a transwoman and general secretary of Mangalmukhi Transgender Welfare Society.

Chauhan added that those who identified as ‘others’ also reported instances of harassment at the hand of officials. “It is common for people who identify as ‘others’ in official documents to get harassed by officials. Moreover, the process of putting in place documents validating our choice of gender is a cumbersome one and often, a humiliating experience,” she added.

Election officials said that they did not have data of transgenders but are hopeful they will vote in large numbers. “Until the last elections, we did not have data of transgender voters in the district. This year, however, some of them have enrolled. They can choose the others option and cast their vote,” said Sant Lal, district election tehsildar.

First Published: Mar 27, 2019 05:37 IST