India’s commercial hub, Mumbai has its first-ever transgender candidate for upcoming parliament elections.
Sneha Kale announced she would contest the north-central constituency as an independent candidate this week, according to the Mumbai Mirror.
Like many transgender Indians, Sneha Kale makes money from begging. She has entered politics to fight for the rights of the transgender people and other neglected communities.
‘ We face all sorts of discrimination, disappointment and no recognition in the society’ she told Mumbai Mirror.
She transgender people had no access to education, employment, or housing. ‘
have no access to education, employment or house to stay. ‘I want to raise their questions in the Parliament, as I am one of them’ she said.
The Mumbai Mirror also reported 2,086 transgender voters had registered for the upcoming election. That’s twice as many as the last polls.
Sneha Kale is the latest in a number of trans women making headlines in India.
Last week, local government of one of India’s largest states, Karnataka, last week appointed its first transgender employee.
Last month, India’s first Miss Trans Queen joined one of the country’s largest political parties.
Earlier this year, the same party appointed its first transgender office-bearer.
Trans gurus also made history earlier this year by leading a religious procession.
Violence continues, however. One trans politician running for office in Hyderabad went missing during her election campaign.
Last month, a man decapitated a trans priestess in her temple.
India’s Supreme Court in 2014 recognized trans identities as a third gender.
But, the community remains marginalized. Families and employers shun trans individuals.
What’s more, activists have slammed a trans rights bill currently in the Upper House of Parliament. They say it further infringes rights rather than protects them.