West Bengal govt plans to enroll transgenders in civic police volunteer force

If things fall in line, members of transgender community would soon be seen donning the uniform as civic volunteers assisting the Kolkata Police in wide range of duties.

The West Bengal government has requested the Kolkata Police to recruit transgenders in the Civic Police Volunteer Force (CPVC) to end the “stigma” and “discrimination” against the community.

State minister for women and child development, Shashi Panja said she had spoken to the Kolkata Police commissioner suggesting the idea soon after it was brought up during a meeting of the West Bengal Transgender Development Board.

“The prime issue that we face is that people don’t have respect for the transgender community. But if they are incorporated as volunteers in the civic police force, then it will gradually allow people to imagine them in different roles,” she said.

The state women and child development and social welfare department has recommended that the Kolkata Police begin taking volunteers from the community and after the requisite training, indoctrinate them into the CPVC.

The state government had set up the Transgender Welfare Board in July 2014.

First meeting of newly formed Transgender Development Board held at Nabanna

The first meeting of the State’s newly formed Transgender Development Board was held at Nabanna on Friday

The Government will take special efforts to ensure that the marginalized transgenders become a part of the mainstream of the society. This was decided at the first meeting of the Board.

West Bengal Social Welfare and Women and Child Development Minister Dr Sashi Panja, who is also the chairperson of the Transgender Development Board, said that a mass awareness drive would be carried out so that the members of the state’s 30,000-strong transgender community could live with dignity .


The Minister also said that they would shortly set up sex reassignment surgery (SRS) units in government hospitals. This, she hoped, would minimize financial and various other difficulties that the transgenders face while undergoing sex-change surgeries at private hospitals.

There were plans to set up a 24×7 helpline for transgenders and other sexual minority communities such as LGBT. They will be able to lodge a complaint at the helpline even if they are assaulted or heckled by their family members

Krishnagar College principal Manabi Bandyopadhyay , who is the vice chairperson of board, said that they held a discussion with the nine transgender board members on Friday to address the problems faced by the members of the community .

The State Government is also planning to have special toilets for the transgenders. The transgenders had earlier complained that they were being harassed while using ladies’ toilets.  Dr Panja said that she would take up the matter of setting up toilets for transgenders on a priority basis. A special ward for transgenders has already been set up at R G Kar Medical College and Hospital.

The Board, which has its office in Salt Lake, is also planning to build a shelter for the transgenders who face hostile environment at home.

DrPanja said that since the Supreme Court has recently ordered to include transgenders in welfare programmes, he state government was planning to have education and health projects for them.

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”.