On April 30, India got its first ever transgender polling booth officer when 29-year-old Riya Sarkar, presided over polling booth number 260 in South City International School of the Rashbehari Assembly constituency.
West Bengal was hosting its 5th Phase of Assembly elections and Sarkar was the only trans-person that was shortlisted to be a polling booth officer.
Though nervous, Sarkar was confident enough to assert herself and felt that by taking up this job she would be able to get more acceptance for transgenders.
A history teacher at West Begal’s Dum Dum Prachya Bani Mandir for Boys, Srakar nervously said:
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“She ( The District Electoral Officer) said I had to do this for my community. She felt if more trans-women like me come forward, there will be more acceptance… I hope everything goes well..all my life people have made fun of me; now I am confident enough to assert myself. ”
Out of 6.5 crore voters that are registered in West Bengal, only 758 are transgenders. Such a move will not only help more and more people to accept them, but also help many transgenders to come forward and start fighting for their rights.