Kolkata: It was a rather emotional moment when India’s first transgender college principal sashayed down the ramp cuddling a visibly-happy street child in a unique fashion show here.
Dressed in a red and gold brocade saree, educationist Manabi Badopadhyay from West Bengal was the cynosure of all eyes despite the presence of many other celebrities. Manabi made headlines recently for taking charge of the Krishnagar Women’s College in Nadia district, becoming India’s first transgender to do so.
Previously, an associate professor in Bengali at Vivekananda Satobarshiki Mahavidyalaya, Bandopadhyay has also been roped in by the West Bengal government as the vice chairperson of the state’s transgender development board on a new policy for the third gender in the state.
Projecting dynamism, Bandopadhyay made heads turn at the fashion show for street children where celebrities walked with the underprivileged on Saturday night.
Clutching the girl child, her expressions reflected the pain and anguish for the kids, who do not have a chance to enjoy their childhood.
Bandopadhyay was born Somnath, in a traditional middle class Bengali family in Naihati in the outskirts of Kolkata. Convinced that she was a woman trapped in a man’s body, Bandopadhyay underwent a sex change operation a decade ago.
Described as an able administrator by her peers, Bandopadhyay was a participant in the Bengali version of the hit reality TV show “Bigg Boss” in 2013. She has an adopted son named Debashish.