With a boost in the employment of the third gender for the Lok Sabha elections as a person on the electoral rolls, Sneha Kale will become the first transgender to challenge Lok Sabha elections from the city of Mumbai. She announced her application from the north-central electorate as a free applicant who wishes to struggle for the rights of the transgenders and abandoned groups.
In its declaration on the Lok Sabha elections, Maharashtra election commission announced an augmentation in the voters’ proportion.
“The awareness to enroll with the Commission has definitely increased among the citizens. In 2014, the registration was 918 which has become 2,086 now. We welcome the registration of transgenders and expect more to participate in the election process,” an official from the state election commission said.
Sneha who lives in a lower-middle-class area of Ghatkopar stated, “I have been attached to the community for a long time now. We face all sorts of discrimination, disappointment and no acceptance in society. There are many communities like us who have no recognition in society. There are beggars, destitute, physically challenged, widows, devadasis who never get the benefit of any government schemes. They are left out from the development process. They have no access to education, employment or house to stay. I want to raise their questions in the Parliament, as I am one of them. I decided to contest to raise their voice at the national level and draw public attention towards the issue.”
BJP’s Poonam Mahajan, the MP from the north central electorate at the moment, had beaten Congress contender Priya Dutt in the year 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
When questioned her on proposal on fighting elections without any monetary or social support, she answered that the society would assist.
“I know that I am not like other candidates from big political parties. I have no money for campaigning of social backing for the polls. But my community is with me. There are many in the community who have encouraged me to contest the polls and take the challenge of at least going among the public with our agenda,” she stated.
She is keen to fight the elections because it would be her first poll ever in her life span.
A social campaigner from the district Vilas Rupvate cheered her up to fight the elections with the source of abandoned communities. He functions for Maharashtra Niradhar Devdasi Mahila Sanghatana.
“I have been working for Devdasis in the state. Their issues are different and they never get proper attention. There are nearly 2 lakh Devdasis in the state. Our idea was to contest the election so that the problems of these neglected, poor people can reach to the mainstream. Our issues are otherwise go unheard. We want those people from the neglected communities to contest polls in Maharashtra. Sneha has decided to contest from north-central constituency. We would support her in whichever way possible,” Rupvate said.