Bengal appoints first transgender college principal

Bengal appoints first transgender college principal

9638536e802e17619f7e73360e2a6761_l-copyIn a major initiative to empower the community, the West Bengal government has appointed a transgender educationist as a college principal in the state — a first for India.

Manabi Bandopadhyay, currently the associate professor in Bengali at Vivekananda Satobarshiki Mahavidyalaya, will take over the reins of the Krishnagar Women’s College on June 9.

“She is an able administrator and a fine human being. This will empower the community across India. I am happy that the Bengal government has taken the step,” Rattan Lal Hangloo, vice-chancellor of the Kalyani University, to which the college is affiliated, told IANS on Wednesday.

Hangloo said probably this was the first such appointment in India.

However, for Manabi, it is more about human rights and individual freedom than communities.

She considers this new post as a very normal thing for an individual. “I don’t believe in communities. As an individual, I feel my responsibilities have increased with this office,” Manabi said.

This year, varsities like the Presidency University and Jadavpur University introduced separate criteria in admission forms for inclusion of the third gender.

At the national level, the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 was passed by the Rajya Sabha last month.

For the first time in 45 years, the Rajya Sabha unanimously passed a private member’s bill. It envisages creation of a national commission for transgender communities and state level commissions.

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