Meet Maharashtra’s First Transgender Sarpanch

Forty year old Dnyaneshwar Kamble has become the first transgender in Maharashtra to be elected as a village Sarpanch. Known as Mauli, was declared elected in the gram panchayat elections in Tarangfal village of Solapur. Kamble was contesting on a BJP ticket.

These sarpanch elections were the first direct one to the post in Maharashtra under the Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Act of 1958. Until now, the sarpanch had been elected from among elected representatives. Kamble polled 868 votes and defeated her NCP rival Jaysingh Salve by 167.

Speaking to Indian Express, she said, “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 a not a transgender shows people love me.”

Sukhdeep Singh