Kolkata set to host Transgender literary meet in July

Kolkata: In a unique initiative here, the West Bengal government is set to sponsor a literary meet for transgender writers and authors from across the state. The one-day meet, to be organised by Sahitya Akademi, has been scheduled for the second week of July in Kolkata, Manabi Bandyopadhyay, a member of the literary body, said. “To my knowledge, this is the first such literary meet, exclusively to be attended by transgender litterateurs whose artistic work seldom comes to light,” Bandyopadhyay, who is also the first transgender college principal in the country, told PTI.

Five writers, from different walk of life, have expressed their willingness in participating in the event. “The meet is aimed at dispelling certain social stigma against the community. Apart from the five writers, who have already given their nod for the programme, we are trying to rope in as many enthusiasts as possible,” she said.

Mihir Sahu, the officer-in-charge of Sahitya Akademi East, said the event date has not been finalized as yet. “The unique initiative is aimed at promoting transgender authors of Bengal. It might be followed up by more such initiatives in the future,” he said.

One of the participants, Anjali Mandal, said she was planning to recite her compositions at the meet. “I think people’s attitude toward the transgenders has changed, but there is scope for more. We do not feel awkward to reveal our identity and are not subjected to taunts by people. This literary meet will only contribute to our cause,” Mandal added.

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