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  Metros   Mumbai  25 Feb 2019  VBA appoints transgender woman as state spokesperson

VBA appoints transgender woman as state spokesperson

THE ASIAN AGE. | HARSHADA PARAB
Published : Feb 25, 2019, 1:19 am IST
Updated : Feb 25, 2019, 1:19 am IST

A believer of Dr Ambedkar's philosophy, she thinks her party will give equal treatment to all deprived communities.

(Photo: Pixabay)
 (Photo: Pixabay)

Mumbai: After the Congress appointed a transgender activist as a national general secretary of its women's wing, the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) has appointed a transgender person as its spokesperson for Maharashtra. This is the first time a person from the Hijra community has been chosen as a spokesperson for a party at the state level. Disha Pinky Shaikh, a writer and poet, says her party will make people know their community in a better way. A believer of Dr Ambedkar's philosophy, she thinks her party will give equal treatment to all deprived communities.

The Prakash Ambedkar-led VBA is in alliance with the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majl-is-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen. The VBA on Saturday declared Ms Shaikh as its spokesperson. Ms Shaikh, who is originally from Ahmednagar, said, “I am happy that the party has given me this responsibility. It is a big achievement for me as I do not belong to any political family. My friends, especially from the Ambedkarite movement, have always supported me on this journey.” She also credited her mentor, whose name she has adopted as her own, Pinky Shaikh. “I couldn't have reached this position without my guru. She is always supportive of my decision and work,” said Ms Shaikh.

“I am happy that Disha has been selected. She must work first for her country and then for society and our community. I want her to work for basic issues such as education, job and security. Like women, transgenders must also get equal rights in society,” said Pinky Shaikh.

Ms Shaikh has not decided on her future course of action in politics, but she is certain that she will use this opportunity to speak up on behalf of the downtrodden.

“I don't wish to get into active politics. If my party decides, I will contest elections. My party will dec-ide from where I must contest polls.”

Talking about her party's agenda, she said, “It will be a comprehensive agenda. From my side, I want to include a few points for my community. Implementation of NALSA judgment and providing education and jobs to our community members are the few issues that are on my mind right now. Being a transgender woman, I will also talk about women's issues,” Ms Shaikh added.

Tags: transgender activist, vanchit bahujan aghadi