In a first in India, Manabi Bandopadhyay has been appointed the first transgender principal at a college in West Bengal.
Manabi will assume the role of Krishnagar Women’s College principal in West Bengal on June 9. She is currently an associate professor in Bengali at Vivekananda Satobarshiki Mahavidyalaya.
“This decision was taken by the College Service Commission. I don’t interfere in their decisions. They are aware of our open mind. I am happy with this decision,” state education minister Partha Chatterjee said.
Welcoming the decision, Rattan Lal Hangloo, vice-chancellor of Krishnagar Women’s College affiliate Kalyani University said, “Manabi is a fine human being, a good academician and an able administrator. We are hopeful her appointment will empower other members of the transgender community.”
“It is not the post that I sought after. My 92-year-old father lives in Naihati. I took up this offer because I knew it will help me stay close by and look after him,” Manabi said.
Her colleagues and students have also welcomed the decision and called her an inspiration.
“She is a celebrity. It is good news that we are getting her as our principal,” a student Payal Mallick said.
Another member of the transgender community, Jyoti said, “Manabidi is an inspiration for us. Today, people back home have accepted my identity. I have even portrayed my own fate in a play that dealt with the plight of transgenders. Manabidi’s news is a great boost for me. I am taking her help to undergo sex realignment.”
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