Manabi Bandopadhyay – a transgender from West Bengal – is set to make history. On June 9, she will take charge of Krishnagar Women’s College in Nadia district, reports Hindustan Times
Manabi, who is currently an associate professor in Bengali at the Vivekananda Satobarshiki Mahavidyalaya, said:
“For me, it’s a long battle against ignorance. There was a time when I and even my father were threatened with (dire) consequences as I am a transgender. I spent my childhood in Nadia and it’s a comeback to my home with pride and dignity after a long battle.”
This is not the first time that Manabi is creating history. In 1995, she published the country’s first transgender magazine, ‘Ob-Manab’ (sub-human). The magazine, despite a very low circulation, continues to be published.
Treated as an outcast in our country, Manabi faced many challenges from her colleagues in her very first assignment. She said:
“My dad and I were threatened by the colleagues and leaders of the students union. Their demand was that I should register as a male lecturer. When I protested, they tried to kill me and my father and even made sure that we didn’t get a room on rent in Jhargram.”
Born as Somnath, she underwent a sex change operation to avoid demands to be categorized as a male. In 2004, she became a full-fledged woman, Manabi (which means ‘beautiful woman’ in Bengali). On making the mark for the transgender community, she believes honor is the most important thing, not the post.