Drive to add transgenders, sex workers to voters’ list
NEW DELHI: To ensure the inclusion of transgenders in the electoral process, the Delhi election office has initiated the process of mapping and identifying those who are left out. An exercise to facilitate the enrolment of transgenders will be carried out across the city, officials said.The 2011 population census pegged the total number of transgenders living in the capital at 4,213. However, as per the electoral roll published by the office of the chief electoral officer of Delhi in January this year, only 1,155 of them were registered voters. The representatives of the transgender community believe their number is no less than 10,000 in Delhi.
With the Lok Sabha elections due in April next year, the Delhi election office ran a month-long house-to-house survey in which the booth-level officers verified the entries in the voter list and collected the details of permanently shifted and dead voters as well as left-out and prospective voters. A special summary revision exercise will start with the publication of an integrated draft electoral roll on October 17, which will continue till November 30. It will be an opportunity for all the residents of Delhi who are eligible to cast votes but are not registered as voters.
“We have written to all district electoral officers (district magistrates) to run a special campaign to map transgenders, facilitate their enrolment and ensure their participation in the electoral process,” said an official.
As per the recommendations of the national advisory committee on inclusive election (NACIE), the transgender would not be referred as “third gender” in the electoral list, as the term was not in consonance with the Transgender Persons (Protection Right) Act, 2019.
District electoral officers have also been asked to create a mechanism to induct transgenders in electoral capacity by appointing them as booth-level officers, wherever possible, and give them block-level responsibility on remuneration basis. “On the recommendation of NACIE, the electoral officers have also been directed to curate awareness material under the systematic voters’ education and electoral participation programme to motivate transgender to participate in elections,” said another official.
Efforts will also be made by the election office to ensure the participation of sex workers, women in difficult circumstances such as destitute and those living in shelter homes or nari niketan and homeless.
“There are a variety of factors that act as barriers in participation of sex workers in the election process – no address proof, rejection of form due to their continuous mobility, inability to come out of their ecosystem and cast votes. The district electoral officers have been asked to hold camps for their enrolment and take help of NGOs to ensure their electoral participation,” said another official.
“The district officers have also been directed to take help of state departments and NGOs to identify destitute and the homeless and work out a multipronged strategy to bring them into the electoral process,” the official added.
Courtesy : TOI
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