Out of the 74,899 contestants in the local body polls in Kerala, K Sneha contesting from Kannur in North Kerala is the lone person from the transgender community in the fray.
Sneha is taking on mainstream political parties by highlighting the lack of development and issues affecting society. For that reason, she is also facing resistance.
Sneha, who is contesting from Ward No 36 of Kannur corporation, is a local resident and a familiar figure there.
Sneha told DH that it was her own decision to contest the election as an independent candidate as the mainstream political parties are not sincere in addressing the plight of the people.
Many houses do not have proper water supply and many houses lack proper approach roads. There are families living in pitiable condition owing to dues in welfare pensions from the government, she said.
While seeking votes, Sneha assures the voters that whether or not she wins, she will stand with people for the development of the locality. "I suffered a lot over these years. Hence I can very well understand the sufferings of people," said Sneha.
Sneha, who underwent sex reassignment surgery about a year back, said that she faced harassment from workers of mainstream political parties. A section even tried to oppose her candidature citing different names in her election identity card and voter list after she changed the name after the surgery. But she managed to overcome it by proving her identity.
Though another transgender person, Sherin Antony, filed nomination to contest in the local body polls in Kochi, it was rejected citing technical issues. Sherin alleged that her name was deliberately removed from the voter's list even though she cast her vote in the last Lok Sabha polls.
Of the 2,76,56,579 voters for the local body polls, 282 are from the transgender community.