T'gana polls: BSP's transgender contestant Pushpithalaya promises education for all, if elected

T'gana polls: BSP's transgender contestant Pushpithalaya promises education for all, if elected

Hyderabad, Nov 15 (PTI) Leaving behind her days of seeking alms at Delhi's traffic signals and a small call centre job, 32 year-old transgender Chithrapu Pushpithalaya has found her calling in social service and is now testing her electoral fortunes as the BSP's Warangal (East) candidate for the November 30 Assembly polls in Telangana.

She is pitted against the might of the ruling BRS and the Congress.

Speaking to PTI, she said the urge to raise a voice and act against victims of any kind gave her the determination to contest in the polls and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) gave her the required platform. If elected, she promises to provide good education, not only to transgenders, but to all.

Pushpithalaya said when she was 15 years old she left for the national capital to undergo a sex change surgery.

'I was working in a small call centre and also begged at traffic signals in Delhi along with community members. However, I realised that I should do more and be different. My major concern is atrocities against women. So I decided to stop begging and work for a cause,' she said.

Later, she returned to her native place in Warangal district and actively participated in Dr BR Ambedkar Association doing service to the needy, she said.

Asked how she will be able to compete against people like Nannapuneni Narendar, outgoing legislator from the ruling BRS party and Konda Surekha of the Congress, Pushpithalaya said people know their 'history' and that she has the support of BC, SCs and STs.

'When people who constitute just one per cent of the population can rule us, why can't we, the majority, compete with them?' she asked.

RS Praveen Kumar, BSP Telangana chief said, his party's ideology is inclusive and it respects diversity.

'The transgenders also need their voices to be heard in the Assembly. And they deserve a space in the House. It is not their fault that they become transgenders. We wanted to give them due recognition,' the former IPS officer said.

According to Chithrapu Pushpithalaya, she is highlighting the failures of the sitting BRS legislator despite the party being in power for the past nine and half years.

She said she is getting a positive response during her campaign and that people are also making some cash donations which will help her meet poll expenses.

The MLA aspirant says there is a public perception that if transgenders go to a shop or a house and ask for money, people oblige as they feel it is auspicious.

'I don't promise double bedroom houses or anything like that. If elected, I will try to give good education and health facilities to all. Providing education facilities is the primary objective, she said.

When asked if she has any specific plans for the transgender community, Pushpithalaya said though all are equal, good education will stop the community from resorting to begging on the streets.

According to Pushpithalaya's election affidavit, she has a bank balance of Rs 52,000 with no movable or immovable assets. PTI GDK SA SS

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