Kolkata: Post the appointment of Manabi Banerjee as the first transgender principal of a college in India comes the news of her selection as the vice chairman of the state’s Transgender Development Board. State minister of women and child welfare development Sashi Panja will be the chairperson of the Board that will have 13 members. This Board will have two members from Panja’s department including a joint secretary and members from the transgender community and NGOs working with them. Social activist Leena Gangopadhyay, who is the chairperson of Women Development Undertaking, has also been inducted to the Board.
While Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have their own Transgender Welfare Boards, West Bengal is the first Indian state to have a Transgender Development Board where the accent is on the word ‘development’ and not ‘welfare’. Union social justice and empowerment minister Thawaar Chand Gehlot is happy that such a board has been formed in West Bengal.
The West Bengal Board will actively look into issues related to Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). “We’ve spoken with a team of doctors working with SRS to give these facilities to all government hospitals across the state. Census, issuing I-Cards and reservation as per Supreme Court guidelines are on the cards,” says Panja.