Mangaluru, Apr 19, 2018 : The Election Commission and all district administrations have organised awareness initiatives to register transgenders in the voters’ list and ensure they also exercise their franchise.
They are categorised as Others in the list. According to the final list for 2018, 4,552 transgenders have registered. This excludes new additions following Minchina Nondani which concluded on April 14.
According to activists, since 2013, all sexual minorities and transgenders are allowed to register as Others in the voters’ list. But despite awareness drives by various government and non-governmental organisations, very few have registered. As per the voters’ list in eight constituencies i.e. Shravanabelagola, Sakaleshapura, KR Pet, Sullia, Kundagol, Yellapur, Aurad, and Kundapura, there are no voters registered under this category.
Social activist Akkai Padmashali said there are many reasons for few voters registered under this category. "There are more than 1 lakh voters in the state in this category. In Bengaluru alone, there are around 15,000. Compared to this, the registered number of 4,552 is very less," she said.
"While the Election Commission has awareness initiatives, many transgenders register either as male or female. We have awareness programmes at the community level to ensure more transgenders register in the voters’ list," she said. “On April 21, we’re holding an awareness event in Bengaluru. I hope more number of voters from the community cast their vote," she said.
Ashodaya Organization conducted an awareness event for sexual minorities on the importance of voting. Divakar, deputy director, department of women and child welfare, was the resource person. They were also shown how to use the VVPAT.