From Our Correspondent, TNT News | Agartala, Feb 17, 2018:
The day was usual to her.
Campaigns, hoardings of different political parties does not force her to shift her mind from her own task. It is because she has no expectations from the political parties that forget to meet their pre-poll tall promises made to the people, especially for the Third Gender.
Babita is one of the 11 third genders who have been enlisted in the electoral roll to exercise franchise on February 18.
Initially, when The Northeast Today (TNT) met Babita at her residence in Goyala Basti, within a kilometer distance from the Civil Secretariat and Legislative Assembly buildings, she showed her back though later expressed her prolonged ‘frustration.’
Election is not a headache for her but to concentrate on her household works.
“What will happen if you write about us? We are still backward,” she said.
She along with her two companions stayed here for more than 25 years.
Her two friends wake up every morning to visit houses to collect alms.
Ratna and Jyoti, two third genders staying at Shyamalibazar area follow the same trend.
The Tripura government has only introduced Rs. 500 allowance for them approximately two years ago. But that’s not enough to bring a revolution in their present socio-economic status.
Lack of education is one of the crises which they are undergoing.
“Two third genders are my tenants for many years. They leave home at around 5 or 6 AM and return back in the evening. They lead their lives depending on whatever they get from people after visiting houses,” said Zaheera Begum.
Though none of them agreed to throw light on their origin, they have only ‘begging’ as an option to survive.
Becoming like Manobi Bandopadhayay, India’s first transgender college principal, TV actress -Bobby Darling are dreams to them.
“We don’t know how to read and write. We sing, dance at houses where wedding ceremonies, birth of new babies take place to earn money. The allowance of Rs. 500 is not a big amount to survive,” Radhika said.
Poll-manifestos missed promises for third gender
The Left promises to stick to its legacy of developmental activities keeping peace and unity among people intact while the BJP assured to improve people’s lifestyle by providing jobs to every house, smart-phones to youths, Seventh Pay Commission to employees.
The Congress, promised to provide employment, waiver of farmers’ loans and welfare of journalists and also probe into corruption charges as was also promised by BJP.
None of their manifestos mentioned about them.
“No one thinks for us, not even government or any other party. We want a government who would think of us too,” said Ratna.