Tamil Nadu

Trans candidate hopes to defy odds

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Nandini pitches for societal recognition of her community

The stakes are apparently high for contestants hoping to represent panchayat wards in Manavasi, a village dotting the riverbed of the Cauvery near Mayanur in Karur district.

R. Nandini, 35, a transperson, is seeking the people’s mandate in the Manavasi panchayat’s first ward, which has 316 voters.

Flanked by her friends, she makes it a point to meet every eligible voter in the ward. Despite social constraints, she puts up a brave show. She spends at least 10 minutes with each voter, seeking their support for her candidature.

“I may have nothing much to offer to the voters. But I seek their votes by urging them to exercise their franchise for societal recognition of the transgender community,” says Ms. Nandini, who ekes out a living selling vegetables.

Not many had been bothered about the election in Manavasi until a week ago. The vigorous electioneering by Ms. Nandini and her friends has made the rest of the district sit up and take notice. “The people’s response has been good,” Ms. Nandini says.

Her two opponents, who are banking on caste support, have plunged into the campaign by dishing out attractive promises.

Alleging the use of money power, Ms. Nandini claims there have been instances of supporters of rival candidates removing the campaign posters put up by transpersons.

“We face all kinds of humiliation in our day-to-day lives. It is unfortunate that we are encountering problems in the panchayat ward election too. But I hope I will win the election with a good margin,” Ms. Nandini says, exuding confidence that she will make her tenure notable, if elected.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 12:49:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/trans-candidate-hopes-to-defy-odds/article30398320.ece

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