More transgender electors cast vote in Himachal Assembly elections this time
Shimla, Initiatives taken by the Election Department to felicitate members of the third gender and bestowing the status of the district icon on Bijli Mahant encouraged 26 of the 38 transgender persons to come forward to cast their vote in the Assembly elections.
The names of only 17 third gender persons were on the voters’ list but due to the consistent efforts of the Election Department, the names of 37 of them were included in the final list issued on October 10. On the voting day, 26 out of 38 third gender persons (68 per cent) cast their vote, exactly double their number in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“Bijli Mahant, a transgender person, has been made the district icon of Bilaspur district and all efforts are being made to appoint other members of the transgender community as state and district election icons,” says Maneesh Garg, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).
“Interventions were made to motivate and bring in an attitudinal change among the third gender electors to come out and vote in a fearless manner like other voters,” says Rajiv Kumar, Chief Election Commissioner.
In 2017, transgender voters were included as a separate category of third gender in electoral rolls for the first time. There were only 14 third gender persons in the 2017 Assembly elections and only two of them (14%) had exercised their right to franchise. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, only 34 per cent of the registered third gender voters had cast their vote.
Garg said that that the Election Commission had felicitated transgender persons at at Dharampur.
Courtesy : The Tribune
Note: This news piece was originally published in thetribune.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights .