If the West Bengal State minister for women and child development, Shashi Panja has her way, then members of transgender community would soon be seen in uniform as civic volunteers assisting the Kolkata Police. The Kolkata Police to enroll transgenders in the Civic Police Volunteer Force (CPVC) also known as the Green Police on request of the West Bengal government. This is a major step to end discrimination and stigma against the community.
Shashi Panja spoke to the Kolkata Police commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha and suggested the idea which was originally brought up in a meeting of the West Bengal Transgender Development Board. CPVC’s duties include gathering information about unauthorised parking, protection of flora and fauna in parks and controlling the pedestrian movement.
This will not only empower the transgenders but also show them in different light to the public who is habituated to see them on roads and public transport asking for money. This step will help them garner more opportunities in the future. According to Shashi, there is a major gap between the community and the welfare board. It will take a lot of effort to bridge this gap.
West Bengal is also the first Indian state to have a transgender, Manabi Bandopadhyay as the Principal of a college. The state authorities have also decided to include members of the transgender community in the judges panel for Kolkata Shree. It is an annual competition to judge the best Durga Puja celebrations in the state capital organised by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).