In the upcoming election in Jodhpur, approximately 80 transgender individuals are set to cast their votes for the first time, having been without voter ID cards until the last election. Nearly half of them have now obtained their voter cards, and the remaining are anticipated to receive theirs shortly. This marks a significant moment as these individuals actively engage in the democratic process by exercising their right to vote.
The complexities surrounding documentary requirements for obtaining voter ID cards and a general lack of trust in the government and public representatives have hindered the transgender community's participation in the electoral process until now. The documentary formalities for acquiring voter cards proved to be a challenging hurdle, creating a barrier for many individuals within the transgender community. This complexity, coupled with a pervasive lack of trust in government processes, contributed to their reluctance to engage in the electoral system. Furthermore, the community's hesitance to actively participate in the democratic process stemmed from a sense of ignorance and mistrust toward public representatives.
Thanks to the Election Commission of India's (ECI) influence on local administration and the efforts of a non-profit organization, the 80 transgender individuals from Jodhpur district are not just prepared but also motivated to exercise their voting rights in the upcoming election.
According to Govind Singh Rathore, the founder of Sambhali Trust, it is the first time a significant number of transgender individuals are receiving voter ID cards in collaboration with the administration.
"Till now, they hardly ever put in serious efforts to get their voter ID cards made. The main reason was the non-availability of the required documents for this purpose or faulty and mismatched documents. So, this time, we coordinated with the administration and organized camps for them to resolve these discrepancies and get them valid documents, mainly Aadhaar cards." said Rathore.
Previously, a significant hurdle for transgender individuals in obtaining Aadhaar cards was the lack of parental details and a fixed address. Now, their 'guru' or mentor is recognized as their parent, and the location of the havelis they belong to serves as their official address, easing the process for them.
Source: Times Of India