Bengal’s transgender principal joins state panel on community

Kolkata, June 8 (IANS) India’s first transgender college principal will work with West Bengal’s transgender development board on a new policy for the third gender in the state, a minister said on Monday.

Minister of State for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Sashi Panja, who heads the 13-member panel of the board, said Manabi Bandopadhyay has been appointed its vice chairman.

“We will meet her on Thursday and discuss the issues of the members of the third gender in totality to formulate a policy. We will work for the development in accordance with the Supreme Court’s guidelines,” Panja told IANS.

The members will also take up the “frequent complaints” about treatment meted out to transgenders by the police and at healthcare facilities.

Matters related to sex reassignment surgery (SRS) will also be handled by the board which – according to the state government – is not just for the welfare but for the all-round development of the third gender.

Bandopadhyay made headlines last month with her appointment as the head of Krishnagar Women’s College in Bengal, a first for India. She starts work on June 9.

Presidency University and Jadavpur University have introduced separate criteria in admission forms this year 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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