Assam Assembly elections | Provide separate line for transgenders at polling booths, Assam CEO urged

Swati Bidhan Baruah. Photo: Twitter/@BidhanSwati  

Assam’s Transgender Welfare Board has sought a separate line for the “vulnerable and marginalised community” at polling booths in the coming three-phase Assembly elections.

The board, under the Social Welfare Department, has also advised a meeting for addressing a few issues, including the possibility of transgender voters being turned away for mismatch of photo in the voter identity card and present appearance.

According to the data provided by the State election office, 442 out of a total of 2,31,86,362 voters in the State are transgender or third gender.

“…we haven’t seen any concrete steps being taken towards the transgender community… the most vulnerable and marginalised community, always neglected and side-lined by the authorities,” said Swati Bidhan Baruah, the board’s associated vice-chairperson and the first transgender lawyer in the Northeast, wrote in the letter to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Nitin K.S. Khade on March 8.

Ms. Baruah said members of the transgender community faced issues such as taunting and bullying when they went to cast their votes, justifying the board’s demand for a separate line for transgenders at the voting centres.

The board advised sensitisation of booth-level officers on transgenders. It also requested the CEO to hold a meeting on issues such as providing separate toilet for transgenders at voting centres and to find a way out of a situation, where the name assigned at birth and photo on the voter ID, are different from the name and appearance of the transgender now.

“We have had no response from the Election department yet,” Ms. Baruah said.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 3:23:03 AM |

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