Bengaluru: Akkai Padmashali might be well known transgender activist and a Karnataka Rajyotsava awardee, but she got a chance to cast her vote for the first time only on Saturday. She was one among many from her community who came out in good numbers to vote in the state assembly elections.
Expressing her delight Dr Padmashali said that it took 16 long years to enable her to do so. Also a motivational speaker, she took to Facebook to encourage other voters in the state to exercise their right to franchise without fail, soon after she voted in the city.
As per statistics from the state election commission, the number of transgender voters in the state took a significant leap to 4,552 this time as compared with 2,100 in 2013.
Renowned radio jockey RJ Priyanka who voted at Chamrajpet termed the day ‘glorious’ for her community. “I’m hopeful that recording our community’s opinion and being a complete citizen after voting would help us get better and just facilities and policies over the next few years.”
Another activist who has been part of numerous campaigns for the community, Shanthi Sonu said that polling reiterates how equal citizenship is provided in the country regardless of gender. “I have voted for a better future not just for sexual minorities like us, but with a vision for the welfare of all who are part of our state,” she said adding that she is hopeful of the next government to take progressive decisions.
“Pension, housing, education, medical insurance, banking and numerous other sectors – we seek inclusion in all, like all,” she concluded. More than 15 members of the transgender community who assembled together to vote early during the morning at the polling booth at Milagres High School Mangaluru garnered traction from many, clicking pictures with their inked fingers....