We're all the same: India's first transgender Principal

Manobi Bandopadhyay. Photo: Parth Sanyal  

In a huge leap for transgender people in India, Manobi Bandopadhyay became the first person from the community to head an educational institution. Professor Bandopadhyay will take over as Principal of Krishnanagar Women’s College in Nadia district of West Bengal on June 9.

Stating that it was not a personal achievement, Professor Bandopadhyay told The Hindu: “I have been teaching for the past 20 years. I have faced many obstacles and it has been a long journey. Becoming a college Principal is not something which gives me a reason to celebrate. I believe in attaining happiness after I have proved my worth.”

Asked if it was a landmark moment for the transgender community, Professor Bandopadhyay, currently an Associate Professor of Bengali at Vivekananda Satavarshiki Mahavidyalaya in Paschim Medinipur district. said: “I do not believe in dividing ourselves into categories. We are all the same.” Professor Bandopadhyay visited Krishnanagar Women’s College with her adopted son Debasish Manobiputro on Tuesday.

Welcoming the government’s decision, Rattan Lal Hangloo, Vice-Chancellor of Kalyani University, to which Krishnanagar Women’s College is affiliated, said he was looking forward to having Professor Bandopadhyay as the Principal.

“I have known Manobi for the past two years. She is a great academic and administrator. She is very adept in her subject. This is a very good decision taken by the Bengal government and can empower the community,” Professor Hangloo said.

Born Somnath Bandopadhyay in Naihati in North 24 Parganas district, Professor Bandopadhyay underwent a sex-change surgery in 2003 and in interviews previously, has spoken about the stigma and social ostracism faced personally and by the family in being a transgender. She runs the Abamanab magazine for transgender people.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 2:18:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/bengal-to-have-indias-first-transgender-principal/article7252192.ece

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