In a first, two transgender  women — Jiya Das and Debdatta Biswas – assisted doctors in an operation theatre in Kolkata. The duo scripted history on March 16 as they became Bengal’s first transgender women to be selected as OT technicians to assist doctors during surgeries.

Jiya and Debdatta are true examples of pushing the boundaries for equal rights.

Both in their 20s, Jiya and Debdatta are currently doing internship, and getting ready to take up this career ahead

Jiya is a graduate from Malda. But due to financial crisis in the family, she took up the job of a raunchy dancer to support her family. Not happy with the work, she left the job when it required her to tour the interiors of Bihar with the dance troupe.

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“Working as a laundiya performer was not by choice,” she told TOI. “I was extremely vulnerable. But I had to support my family, and had to go through with it. Now, I can dream of a dignified career,” – Jiya

Debdatta, on the other hand, is a postgraduate in Bengali. She was earlier working as a private tutor to support her ailing parents.

Talking about her stint in the OT, Debdatta said: “I was filled with excitement, stepping into the OT for the first time to assist the doctors.”

“All went well, and I am sure the next six months will give me a lot of exposure and make me a competent OT technician,” said the Batanagar resident.

How their lives changed for the better

The two finally found their true calling during a gender rights meet at the American Center, Kolkata, last year. At the event, activists and organizations helped transgender persons recognize various courses in tune with their qualifications.

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Dr Satadal Saha, founder of School for Skills and Allied Health Science (SSAHS), which aims to conduct paramedical courses, offered to train Jaya and Debdatta free of cost.

The two then joined the batch of 48 students. “Right from day one, they have been extremely focused and committed. They will be very compassionate, caring and competent health workers. This was a pilot project and we plan to take in more transgender students who have the aptitude for it,” said Dr Saha.

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Feature Image Credit: Indiatimes.com

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