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A committee will be established to facilitate the process of including transgender people as voters: CEC

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said on Wednesday that a committee will be established to facilitate the whole process of hiring transgender people as voters.

Kumar was here for the national-level launch of a special brief review of the electoral roll.

Speaking about the hardships transgender people face while applying as voters, Kumar told reporters that he and his colleagues met with a group of transgender people.

“I must say that their feelings, comments moved us. They say they have no property rights, so what address should they give? They said they had stigmas, that their date of birth was not recorded,” he said.

“After talking to transgender people, we’ve decided that we’re going to set up a committee for them, before their hiring, where we’re going to look at our processes in terms of date of birth, their attestations, how can we take self-sworn statements as evidence or ( list them as voters) without even property rights,” Kumar said.

Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra Shrikant Deshpande has done a lot of work in this regard and he will chair the committee for all of India, Kumar added.

“We would also try to make some trans people our national icons. They deserve to be our national icons because they are as much a part of society as any of us are,” he said.

Speaking of another “special group” of voters, known as “disadvantaged groups,” Kumar said there are 75 particularly vulnerable tribal groups whose numbers are very small, sometimes fewer than 100, and who live in remote areas.

“Voter card is empowering,” which is why the ECI is conducting an outreach program to recruit the members of such marginalized groups as voters, he said.

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