5 Things to know about India’s First Transgender Principal

Just months after India got its first transgender mayor; we now have a transgender ready to take charge as a college principal in West Bengal. Manabi Bandopadhyay, currently working as an associate professor of Bengali at Vivekananda Satobarshiki Mahavidyalaya, has been appointed principal of Krishnagar Women’s College in West Bengal.


While the country rejoices and sees Bandopadhyay as a champion for all transgenders who have been discriminated against, she doesn’t believe this to be a big deal. In fact, she revealed that she wanted to take up this job to be closer to her aging father who lives in Naihati.


However, talking about the challenges faced by others, she said, “Even today parents think that this is a mental health issue… I have come across boys who don’t have support from their parents and cannot get operated upon without their consent. They resort to birth control pills, hoping that the high estrogen will help them feel like women. But they don’t realize that these pills will cause more harm than good,” according to a report by The Hindu.


Pleased with her appointment, assistant professor of Geography at the Krishnanagar Women’s College, Jayasree Mondal, said, “Manabi Bandopadhyay is a strong individual. She has faced many upheavals. We are optimistic about the development of the college during her tenure. She is a celebrity and her sexual orientation isn’t an issue for us,” according to the same report.


Here are the five things you need to know about her:

  • Manabi Bandopadhyay was born as born as Somnath, and underwent a sex change operation in 2003
  • Her name Manabi means ‘woman’ in Bengali
  • She has as an adopted son Debashish Manabiputro.
  • She is highly regarded by her peers and her new colleagues are also equally excited to have her as their principal.
  • Having faced prejudice initially, Bandopadhyay believes if you work diligently, people learn to look beyond their pre-conceived notions and respect you for your work.


[Featured Picture Courtesy: The Indian Express]