Voices of Gujarat: ‘Transgender Citizens Can’t Vote’, ‘Ban Liquor’

Watch as Gujarat residents talk about what will define their vote in the upcoming assembly elections.

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‘I Want to Vote but I Can’t’

Living as a transgender woman in Ahmedabad is hard, says Kumkum Kamini Pavaiya. “We can’t even open bank accounts since we do not have valid documents. Now that we have legally been accepted as third gender, please accept us completely for us to lead life as normal citizens,” she says.

Kumkum alleges that she isn’t allowed to vote.

Now that the elections are coming in December, I also want to vote. But they are not accepting my documents. I’ve been trying to tell the government that now that we have been accepted as third gender, we should also be allowed to vote.

‘We’ve Seen So Many Men Die Due to Liquor Consumption’: Cattle Rearer

Mina Patel, a 38-year-old cattle-rearer based in Surat, has been a part of a ‘sakhi mandal’ in Surat for some years now. Patel helps support women whose husbands are alcoholics. Despite prohibition, liquor continues to be sold and consumed in Gujarat. “We’ve seen so many men die because of liquor consumption. There are women who come to us for support, but they are beaten up by their husbands when they go home. Even the police and politicians do nothing about it,” she says.

Before elections, all these politicians promise to make things better and even distribute liquor to people. But they never bother once they win the election.
Mina Patel

‘Middle-Class Businessmen Are Still Against GST’: Surat Trader

Talking about the anger brewing up among traders in Surat due to GST, 43-year-old Ganesh Jain says “the anger of middle-class businessmen could turn them against the BJP.”

GST has hit the textile industry the most. We were just reeling from note ban when GST was thrown at us. Businessmen were gravely affected by that.
Ganesh Jain

Jain adds that the businessmen who supported the BJP in all its decisions, now feel cheated since the party “did not think about them.”

‘We Expect a Lot From the BJP’: Fisherman

Haridas Chunela, 45, wants fishermen like him to get benefits and subsidies like farmers do. That, he says, will make their lives easier.

We have a lot of expectations from the BJP government. We should get loans when we want to build our boats. We should get subsidies on everything we need to use to make our boats.
Haridas Chunela

Click here to listen to more such voices from Gujarat.

(Voices of Gujarat: Tired of listening to netas make promises? As Gujarat goes to polls, The Quint wants to listen to the real voices of Gujarat – the voters. Tell us what issues matter to you this election season. Send in your videos to elections@thequint.com or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)

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