Boosting Participation Of Marganlized? What Is Delhi’s Special Drive To Include Transgenders, Sex Workers In Electoral Framework?

New Delhi: In a bid to make elections inclusive for all genders, the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer’s office has started the process of setting up special camps to enroll transgenders, sex workers and vulnerable women in the electoral rolls, officials said on Saturday.

It should be noted that the transgender voters are referred to as the “third gender” on the electoral roll. Meanwhile, this is inconsistent with the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019.

The CEO’s office informed that he district election officials will organise special camps in the national capital to include homeless women and sex workers in the electoral rolls, keeping in mind that the Lok Sabha elections are just next year.

As per the officials, this would boost up the participation of Indian citizens in the election process. In this regard, district election officials have also been advised to start a mapping process of transgender people in the city to identify and record, a senior official said.

It is also recommended that transgender people be included in the electoral process through awareness-raising and outreach program to encourage their participation in elections.

The city’s transgender population, according to the 2011 census, was 4,213, officials said, adding that just over 1,100 people are registered to vote. Officials said there is currently no estimate of the city’s actual population.

They said these recommendations came after the first meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Inclusive Elections (NACIE) held in June this year.

Concern On Sex Worker

Amid the discussion, concerns were raised over participation of sex workers as well. It came up that the hurdles which sex workers face are lack of address proof, BLOs rejecting their forms due to sex workers’ mobility and also that they cannot get out of their environment and vote among others.

District election officials have been asked to organize registration camps in areas where there are sex workers. The electoral office will also make efforts to ensure the participation of sex workers, disadvantaged women and those living in shelters or niketan homes as well as homeless ones during the election, they said.