Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The pain of the transgender persons (Kinnars) in the city came to the fore when the Free Press asked some of them about their expectations from their elected representatives. They say that no one cares for them, they don’t get the benefit of different government schemes and banks refuse to give loans to them.
They say that they want to live with respect and dignity, education and jobs. They want to be treated as citizens of the country with equal rights. They also want a Transgender Board to be constituted in Madhya Pradesh. The total number of transgender persons in the state is around 35,000. Many of them, however, don’t have voter ID cards.
I will vote for a candidate who will take our concerns, our demands and our needs into consideration, the one who will talk about the welfare of the Kinnar community, the one who understands us and our lifestyle. The first thing we want is the constitution of a Transgender Board. That will help identify our problems and work out solutions to resolve them. Education is one of our primary needs and so is the right to live with respect and dignity and join the mainstream of society. The Mangalwara-Budhwara areas in old Bhopal where most of us reside is very congested and lacks civic amenities. Something should be done about it.
-Sanjana Singh Rajput
Politicians address us as sisters, but…
At the time of elections, politicians come to us and make all sorts of promises. They address us as sisters. Five years back, we were promised houses and we were asked to fill in forms. But nothing has happened. If the government does not want us to live among the other people, then it can allot us a plot of land and we will build our homes. The Ladli Behna Scheme was launched but we are not benefitting by it. We also tie rakhi to Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Are we not his sisters?
To vote is both our right and duty. So, I will definitely cast my vote. As for expectations, I only want that harmony should prevail in society and prices of things of daily need should come down. I have no special expectations from the representatives. I have no hopes from them. No one does anything for us.
The main thing is that prices should be controlled. We have to work very hard and our earnings are very low. So, high prices are a big problem for us. It is very difficult for us to survive. Then, we don’t get many facilities, which are easily available to others. For instance, banks refuse loans to us. We are not getting the benefit of the Ladli Behna scheme. The government should provide jobs to the educated kinnars. Also, the elderly from our community should get pension.