Chhattisgarh became the first Indian country to elect an openly transgender woman as mayor.
Madhu Bai Kinnar, 35, ran as an independent candidate and won the mayoral election in Raigarh by over 4,500 votes.
“People have shown faith in me,” Kinnar said. “I consider this win as love and blessings of people for me. I’ll put in my best efforts to accomplish their dreams.”
Nine months ago, India’s Supreme Court decided to recognize transgender people as gender-neutral or a third gender and required federal and state governments to give them equal treatment.
Kinnar was sworn in last week.
“There is widespread corruption in the system here,” Kinnar said after taking the oath. “We have to root out the evil. I shall sincerely work so that Raigarh’s development becomes a model across Chhattisgarh state.”
Madras High Court lawyer Ramalingam congratulated the new mayor.
“Hats off to the electorate that has elected the openly known transgender Madhu Kinnar as the Mayor of Raigarh,” Ramalingam said. “This is a right step in our march towards creating an equal society. This election demonstrates that people have also accepted a transgender to lead them as their worshipful mayor.”