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Transgenders can now get a ‘guru’ to attest voter application

in INDIA, 01/09/2012

Purvi’s voter ID card refers to her as Ramesh. But this isn’t an error by election officials. Named Ramesh by her parents, Purvi is a transgender who changed her name and started dressing like a woman 10 years ago. Her voter’s card still carries her original name, and she is yet to apply for a new one, fearing the hassle involved in procuring documents that need her family’s approval.

Now, she will soon make a fresh application for the voter card after the Election Commission of India (ECI) recently issued guidelines that a ‘guru’ can attest a first-time transgender voter’s registration form. While earlier, the Form of Oath or Affirmation needed the signatures of the applicant’s parents, the norm has now been relaxed for the transgender community.

A ‘guru’ is a senior member of the transgender community who initiates younger members, known as ‘chelas’.

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