Bengal may enroll transgenders as civic volunteers


West Bengal is mulling recruiting transgenders as civic volunteers to aid the Kolkata Police in a variety of tasks, including helping the elderly cross roads during the busy Durga Puja days.

West Bengal Transgender Development Board member Ranjita Sinha, on Saturday, said, “At our last meeting we discussed whether transgenders could be inducted into the Civic Police Volunteer Force. During festivities such as the Durga Puja, they could help the elderly navigate traffic intersections.”

Sinha said the board also discussed the possibility of including a third gender member in juries that honour the best Durga Puja pandals in the city.

“These steps would boost mainstreaming efforts [for transgenders]. With some training they can become efficient as civic volunteers,” she added.

The West Bengal government has requested the Kolkata Police to recruit transgenders in the Civic Police Volunteer Force to end the “stigma” and “discrimination” against the community.

State minister for women and child development, Shashi Panja said she had spoken to the Kolkata Police commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha and suggested the idea, soon after it was brought up during a meeting of the West Bengal Transgender Development Board.