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Karnataka: Transgender eyes assembly polls

Member of Praja Rajakiya Vedike (PRV), a political forum for the upliftment of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, will contest in Assembly elections next year.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

28th May 2012 00:48

Alessia Valenza

The forum’s candidate Veena, who had contested the BBMP elections against Queen Elizabeth (Congress), was undeterred by the previous failure, and is preparing for next year’s elections.

Veena, originally born to a poor Dalit family as a boy, completed SSLC from a government school in Magadi. After undergoing a surgery to change his gender 14 years ago, she changed her name to Veena.

Presently, she is the vice-president of Karnataka Sex Workers’ Union.

Speaking about her life, she said, “People from my community are treated like dogs. Our problems and demands have been sidelined. I want to solve the problems of our people.”

Speaking about the BBMP elections, she said she does not regret defeat. Welfare committees for members of LGBT community and common man, are on her mind. Also, she wants to work for the upliftment of backward castes. She plans to hold a door-to-door campaign and create awareness about her community. Veena hopes to end corruption by winning the elections.

When questioned about members of LBGT community harassing people for money at traffic signals, she says, “We are outcasts for our families and the society. Eunuchs ask for money as they have to earn their bread every day. Also, part of that money will be given to rowdies and policemen.”

Veena’s family is supporting her. “I am very happy that my daughter is contesting in the elections. She has support from her community members and I am confident she will be successful,” said Munithayamma, her mother.

Umesh, a lawyer, and an activist working for the rights of sexual minorities says, “Members of LGBT community are deprived of an identity. It is high time they step into politics to fight for their rights.”

He plans to rope in many human right activists to create awareness through social networking sites. Also, he provides free legal aid to members of LGBT community.