Manabí : my priority is my students

KOLKATA: The LGBT community, and particularly the transgender community are very pleased, because India got its first transgender college principal recently. Dr. Manabi Bandopadhyay takes charge of Krishnagar Women’s College in West Bengal on June 9. Manabi is currently associate professor in Bengali at Vivekananda Satobarshiki Mahavidyalaya.

Dr. Manabí Bandhopadhyay

Dr. Manabí Bandhopadhyay

Manabi, who is receiving a flood of calls and friend requests on social networking sites after her appointment is a celebrity of sorts on Bengali television. Manabi underwent a sex reassignment surgery at Calcutta to become a transwoman in 2003. She was earlier called Somnath and was born as the youngest son in a middle-class family in Naihati, West Bengal. She conducted the sex change surgery in 2003.

Manabi was quoted as saying, “Of course I am excited, but the media attention has left me in a tizzy. I have been flooded with calls. I understand that my achievement is a big step forward for the transgender movement in the country, but my priority is my students.”

Manabi had faced her share of problems she faced after her sex-change surgery. Authorities in the college that she worked for eight years ( as a man) started raising questions as to which washroom she should be allowed to use and what clothes she should wear.

However, now colleagues and students are excited to welcome Manabi as principal, who has already become a celebrity after her participation in Bigg Boss Bangala, the Bengali-language version of the reality TV programme Bigg Boss.

“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.


Technical education minister Ujjal Biswas, who is chairman of the college governing body, said: “We were in need of a principal with a strong personality to run the college smoothly.”


Welcoming the decision, Rattan Lal Hangloo, vice-chancellor of the Kalyani University to which Krishnagar Women’s College is affiliated, 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.”


On Tuesday morning, Manabi visited the college, sporting Raybans glasses, curly hair done up in a careless coiffure. Accompanied by her adopted son Debasish Manabiputro and transgender friend Jyoti Samanta, she was untouched by the excitement around her. “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. My new colleagues had seen me on television but I had only heard their voices. I wanted to meet them personally before joining,” she said.

Share Button
Posted by on May 28, 2015. Filed under Breaking News,INDIA -WIDE,RAINBOW. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login