India’s apex literary body Sahitya Akademi is organising the country’s first transgender writers’ meet in Kolkata on Tuesday (July 16). The aim of the event is to give them a platform and introduce them to a larger audience, reported The Print.

How did it materialize?

Earlier this year, the Akademi’s language advisory board had its annual meeting, where it was decided to organise this meet. Although it is exclusively for transgenders, the event is open to all.

While talking to The Print, Sahitya Akademi’s secretary K. Srinivasa Rao said, “There are many transgender writers who do not find mainstream platforms to express their voices.”

Read Also: Assam Becomes The Third State To Get A Transgender Judge

He said the Akademi is engaging in a routine activity in a different way to bring forward the talent, which is hidden otherwise, as they hail from a marginalized community.

India’s first transgender college principal and a member in the language advisory board, Manabi Bandyopadhyay, will chair the event.

Six members of the transgender community — Aruna Nath, Dubadatta Biswas, Debajyoti Bhattacharya, Prosphutita Sugandha, Ravi Majumder and Sankari Mondal — will be present at the meet and will read out their works.

Problems for the community

The community is often stereotyped and discriminated against. They are also ridiculed due to the way they look, dress, or even behave.

Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that transgender people should be treated as the ‘third gender‘, individuals belonging to this community are usually sidelined and treated with disrespect. Bandyopadhyay says that even though with this ruling the situation has improved, it will only benefit the community once everyone is educated and aware.

Transgenders are currently the only section of the LGBTQ community who have been protected by law, yet there is a lot that still needs to be done for them.

Read Also: Transgender Casting Row: Scarlett Johansson Exits Rub & Tug

Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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