June 8, 2015
Bengal selects transgender activist to head development board for the third sex
Just days after being appointed the first transgender principal of a college in India -perhaps even the world –Mx Manabi Bandopadhyay has been made vice-chairman of the State’s Transgender Development Board.
The 13-member panel is headed by Dr Sashi Panja, Minister of State for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare. Transgender representatives, NGOs working with the community and two officials from the minister’s department will make up the committee.
Manabi, who recently took over as principal of Krishnanagar Women’s College, will have her first meeting with Dr Panja on June 11.
Issues related to sex reassignment surgery (SRS) will be one of the priorities of the committee. “We’ve spoken to a team of doctors so that SRS can be started in all government hospitals. Carrying out census of the community, issuing ID cards and starting reservations, as laid down by the Supreme Court, are on the cards,“ said Dr Panja.
While Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have their own transgender welfare boards, Bengal is the first state to have a transgender development board -the focus is on “development” and not just “welfare”.