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Menaka Kinnar (http://www.odishatv.in/news.php?otv=cGFnZT01JmNhdD0%3D)
Menaka Kinnar, a transgender contestant in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation pledges protection for women

in INDIA, 05/01/2014

With cases of rape of minor girls and atrocities on women on a rise in Odisha, 32-year-old Menaka Kinnar, a transgender, contesting the ongoing Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections today pledged to end the menace.

"Protection of girls and women at large is the priority of Odisha Hinjada Mahasangha (OHM). I am contesting the polls to prove that eunuchs can effectively become peoples representatives than their male and female counterparts," Menaka said taking a break from the campaigning.

Clad in a blue saree, Menaka Kinnar goes round the houses in ward number 15 of the BMC area. She is facing stiff opposition from the candidates belonging to BJD, Congress, BJP and Independents. "I am not afraid of this male dominated society. A large number of women and girls are my supporters. Their votes will ensure my victory," Menaka alias Prasant Parida says adding that she receives pat from women and girls. "However, some elements from among the males used to pass comments to me and my sisters when we go on campaigning," she said.

Just a matriculate, Menaka, a native of Jagatsinghpur district, claims she understands the plight of women and girls. "Unless women are empowered, this society cannot improve. I want to give a message through this elections that eunuchs are not less than any male," she says.

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