Transgender Activist Oruganti Laila Becomes Telangana Election Commission’s State Icon
In a historic moment for Telangana, 43-year-old transgender activist Oruganti Laila has been chosen as the State Icon by the Telangana Election Commission, marking the first time a transgender person has received this honor in the state.
Laila’s journey began with a Master’s degree in Sociology from Kakatiya University in Warangal, where she decided to take action to support the transgender community. She founded the Modern Awareness Society (MAS), a non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to uniting transgender individuals across the state and advocating for their rights.
As the newly appointed State Icon, Laila’s mission expanded to include raising awareness about voter enrollment within the transgender community. She recognized the importance of their participation in elections and the exercise of their franchise.
Vikas Raj, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Telangana, explained that the Election Commission had selected various icons to promote voter awareness. Among these icons, Oruganti Laila was chosen for her dedication to encouraging voter registration within the transgender community. She began engaging with people to ensure the enrollment of transgender individuals as voters and collaborated with district election officers.
Laila, drawing upon her experience in advocating for transgender rights, expressed her keen interest in participating in programs related to the Election Commission. She tirelessly worked to inform transgender individuals across the state about the significance of enrolling as voters, emphasizing that the government recognizes them as citizens with the right to vote.
Laila’s commitment extended to participating in the production of short films and advertisements designed to raise awareness about voter enrollment. She also attended meetings alongside district collectors to contribute her insights on voter registration efforts.
Reflecting on her achievement, Laila expressed her gratitude and pride at being selected as the Election Commission’s State Icon. She highlighted that her suggestions were now being considered by officials in the development of election-related programs.
Oruganti Laila’s remarkable journey from a student of sociology to a transgender activist and now the State Icon of the Telangana Election Commission is a testament to her dedication to the rights and inclusion of transgender individuals in the democratic process. Her efforts have not only broken barriers but also paved the way for greater awareness and participation among the transgender community in Telangana’s elections.