The Lok Sabha Elections are round the corner with politicians across the nation gearing up and putting in full efforts to take away their target seats. While the leaders are making efforts to garner maximum votes, the government bodies are working on raising awareness over voter rights.
For the first time after since the Supre Court scrapped Section 377 of the Indian Constitution dealing with homosexuality, Maharashtra for the first time as appointed transgenders as election ambassadors.
The chief electoral office appointed transgender activist Gauri Sawant as one of the 12 “state icons” ahead of the general elections. As a poll ambassador, Gauri is in charge of creating awareness among voters and increasing the voting percentage.
Sawant told TOI that she is honoured to be appointed as the “one and only” transgender election ambassador in the country.
“I will generate awareness among sex workers and housewives about the importance of voting. Sex workers and their welfare do not feature on the agenda of any of the parties, so even they do not bother to vote. But this has to change,” Sawant said.
She pointed out that several women are also ignorant about their voting rights. “The voting day is (usually) a holiday and their husbands are at home, so they are busy cooking for them and do not go out to vote. We will reach out to them and explain why it is important to vote and that many countries still do not give women the right to do so. If we cannot go to the border and fight, we should at least go to the election booth and vote,” she said.
38-year-old Gauri is a transgender activist and the director of Sakshi Char Chowghi that helps transgender people and people with HIV/AIDS. She was featured in an ad by Vicks.