For the first time in the history of Maharashtra elections, gender stereotype has been broken. Dnyaneshwar Kamble, a transgender has won the sarpanch election on Tuesday in the Tarangfal gram panchayat in Malshiras tehsil of Solapur district.
Kamble is known as Mauli in her area and she registered as a BJP candidate in the election. She has won the sarpanch seat by defeating six other candidates.Out of a population of 1800 Tarangfal has 1600 voter counts. Kamble beat his NCP rival Jaysingh Salve by 167 votes. She succeeded to get votes from all three wards of the village which helped her in this historic win. Her victory was celebrated with joy by party workers by distributing sweets and bursting crackers.
As a first transgender sarpanch, Kamble shared her concern about the attitude of people towards the transgender community. She said to the media,“We are always looked down upon as inferior human beings. People run away when we approach them… they try to avoid us in all possible ways.”
She plans to work for her community’s recognition.“This is what I had been waiting for… I wish everyone from our community were treated that way,” Kamble said to The Indian Express.
She was also quoted by TIE as saying, “We want to be in the mainstream public and not on the sidelines as shunned human beings. We are a community that has a number of well-educated people. But education has not given us respect in the society. We want respect and to be treated on par with other citizens… That I defeated a person who is not transgender shows people love me.” She expressed her regret for not completing her education as she is a class VII dropout. Kamble said she will try to spread the message so that every parent can educate their children at least up to graduation.
Kamble also had put building toilets and stopping open defecation on her priority list.The fact that the party trusted her and let her contest elections and so many people have voted for Kamble is really a positive signal towards the acceptance of the transgenders in the society. Transgenders have always faced discrimination in our country, even after the recent steps by various state govt towards their inclusion in the mainstream not much has changed. However, this Maharastra village certainly sets an example for the nation to follow.
We wish Kamble all the best for her future endeavors and hope that she will take the village on the path of development and win the trust of the people.