Election Commission of India (EC) appointed Mumbai social worker and a transgender activist, Gauri Sawant as one of the 12 election ambassadors from the state. It’s the first time in the history of elections that a transgender has been appointed as an election ambassador in India. Shree Gauri said, “I felt relieved to know that I was appointed as one of the election ambassadors for the general elections. Casting a vote is not just an individual’s constitutional right but a social responsibility. It is important that every citizen who’s eligible to vote must do it responsibly. Along with my members of Sakhi Char Chowghi, we help people cast their vote at the polling booths across the city during every election. EC’s decision for the Lok Sabha possibly has given me an added responsibility.”
According to Mumbai Mirror, Gauri stated that polling days are holidays for housewives. She said, “I want to ensure that each one of them goes and votes; not just housewives but also women who are sex workers and every transgender in this country. They’ve equal rights to have their say in the government they wish for. I got appointed for my work and not my gender,” she added.
Born as Ganesh Suresh Sawant in Pune, she moved out of her house and shifted to Mumbai. After years of struggle and determination, she formed an NGO named ‘Sakhi Char Chowghi’ to create sexual awareness and provide health care services to transgender. Gauri made headlines in 2001 when she adopted a daughter of a sex worker who passed away while battling HIV.
Article and image source: Midday