Transgender women in Kolkata have come together this year to organise a special Durga puja in an “attempt to re-claim social space” in the face of “ostracism”.
Spurred by the discriminatory gaze they are subjected to during pandal visits, women of the transgender community have taken matters into their own hands.
Organised by Pratyay Gender Trust in association with a local club, all arrangements are being made by the transgender women from Kolkata and suburbs.
A member of the organising body said, “Whenever we visit pandals, we are seen in a derogatory way. We are trying to end this discrimination and create scope for conversation between communities where we and our families live.”
The member added, “Every one is welcome to visit our pandal.”
They will also, apart from trying to carve a niche for themselves in the society, seek to dissolve gender disparity.
Activities that are traditionally male dominated, the theme, specifications about the idol, marquee decoration, collection of subscription, puja committee formation, will see the participation of transgender women.
Budgeted at Rs.1.5 lakh, the celebrations will be held at Jay Mitra street (off Rabindra Sarani), near Sovabazar in north Kolkata.
A performance by troupe of a senior transgender artist will inaugurate the puja on 18 October.