Manabi Bandopadhyay : India’s first transgender college principal

Manabi Bandopadhyay, a transgender, is going to make history by taking charge as the Principal of Krishnagar Women’s College in Nadia district of West Bengal. She is currently an associate professor in Bengali at the Vivekananda Satobarshiki Mahavidyalaya. She has created history for the transgender community. Manabi lives with her adopted son Debashish Manabiputro.

In 1995, Manabi published the India’s first transgender magazine, Ob-Manab (sub-human). The magazine, despite a very low circulation, continues to be published.

Early Life of Manabi
  • Manabi Bandopadhyay was the only son in her family, with two elder sisters. She was previously known as Somnath.
  • In 2003, Manabi at the age of 38, underwent a sex change operation.
  • After she became a woman, she adopted the name Manabi which in Bengali means ‘woman’.
  • She did her MA in Bengali and joined the Vivekananda Centenary College in Jhargram sub-division as a lecturer in the late 1990s.
Tidbits
  •  In April 2014, the Supreme Court recognised transgender people as a third gender.
  • India is estimated to have about two million transgender people.
  • A common symbol for the transgender community is the Transgender Pride flag, which was designed by Monica Helms.
  • Tamil Nadu was the first state to introduce a transgender welfare policy and also the first state to form a Transgender Welfare Board with representatives from the transgender community.

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