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Two trans women win election in historic moment for LGBT+ visibility in India

Patrick Kelleher December 31, 2020
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India Devika Akka transgender

Devika Akka was one of two trans woman elected in India. (Twitter)

Two transgender women have won local elections in their villages in India in an incredible history-making moment.

Both women were elected to the gram panchayat – a form of local government operating in villages in India – on Wednesday (30 December),

Devika Akka, a transgender woman, was elected in Ward 7 of the Saligrama panchayat, while a woman known as Sudha won the election in Kallahalli.

Speaking to local media about her win, Devika, 46, said her priority would be in serving the people.

“When I visited people’s homes seeking votes, they had kind words for me,” she said.

“Now, that they have placed their confidence in me, I will strive to live up to their expectations.”

She added: “People blessed me. I will work for them.”

Devika Akka wants locals to come to her with ‘whatever issues’ they face.

The woman has been living in the region for 35 years and told The News Minute that she decided to contest the election after her friends encouraged her.

She said: “I will listen to the concerns of residents in my locality and highlight whatever issues they come to me with. I am to be available to my residents for even the smallest of needs.”

SJ Gunapal Jain, a former gram panchayat member in the village, said Devika was the first transgender person to be elected to local government in the village.

“Locals voted for her, especially her colony residents,” he said of Devika, according to The Times of India.

“It helped her achieve this feat. She didn’t identify herself with any group, team or political party.”

Meanwhile, Sudha was elected to the Kalahalli panchayat after securing 622 votes in the first gram panchayat election in the village in 26 years.

Related topics: Devika Akka, India

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