This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Shikhrani Raghvendra. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The Unheard Story Of Sandy Saha, The First Openly-Gay Person To Make It To The Roadies

More from Shikhrani Raghvendra

Ten years ago, singer and performer Shraddha Sharma was the only Indian social-media celebrity whom people knew. But over the years, social media emerged as a platform that provided overnight fame to many talented people. When everyone was showing their talent, how could people from the LGBTQ community stay behind?

Unfortunately, the audience has had a tough time. We have witnessed people like Nouman Khan (the self-proclaimed legend from Pakistan), Makhdoom Junaid (another self-proclaimed ‘pornstar’) – and how can we forget – our very own Deepak Kalal (the self-proclaimed brand-ambassador of Kashmir tourism). Out of all these people, I really like and admire two people who actually entertain people through their videos, which you can enjoy with your family. I am talking about Nasir Khanjan of Pakistan and Sandy Saha from India.

Recently, through Wishfie, Sandy Saha came out and bravely expressed for the first time that he didn’t care about his haters. He is currently participating in MTV Roadies Xtreme, and I recently got the chance to interview him. I am happy to share that whatever you may about know about him is just a trailer. It’s my pleasure to unveil his complete story.

Following are some edited excerpts.

Up, Close And Personal With Sandy Saha

Born and brought up in Kolkata, Sandy Saha is a 22-year-old out-and-proud gay boy, who is a social-media sensation with a huge fan-following, especially in West Bengal and Bangladesh. The confident and happy-go-lucky Sandy has very open minded and supportive parents. His parents are employed in government jobs, and they have been supporting him since childhood. Interestingly, Sandy has never come out to his parents about his sexual orientation.

Speaking about the bond he shares with his parents, he said, “My parents are my strength and I am blessed to have this wonderful couple as my mom and dad. While their love helped me become a confident person, on the other hand, the way they have been supporting me gives me strength to fight against all odds. Yes, it’s true that we have never discussed about my sexual orientation. However, I believe that they already knew about it – and they have accepted me the way I am. So there is no point of initiating a conversation about it. Do people discuss about the sexuality of their straight kids?”

It’s perhaps surprising that unlike the stories of the struggle of many members of the LGBTQ community, Sandy has no sad past. His story doesn’t consist of any sad or depressing chapter. He considers himself very fortunate to have supportive parents and loving friends. This has made him an extremely positive person who believes in smiling in every situation of life.

This Is How The Journey Began

Sandy never planned to start making social media videos. His journey of fame began quite accidentally. He used to go live on Facebook regularly, but one of his videos (in which he was wearing a face-pack mask while interacting to people) went viral overnight. He was unaware that he had been trolled for the video. His friends informed him about it – and initially, they asked him to stop using social media for a while.

However, instead of paying attention to the trollers, roasters and haters, the love he received from many people caught Sandy’s attention – and that encouraged him to make more videos. Undoubtedly, his videos entertained people – and that’s why his fan-following has been increasing since then.

“There were people who were abusing and making fun of me. but I have noticed that there was an equal number of people who were being entertained through my videos. That motivated me to continue making content for social media. I don’t like cross-dressing, but I just do it on camera while I create videos. I don’t have time for haters and I am paying more attention to the people who admire me. But whenever people speak bad things about my parents, it hurts,” opined Sandy.

Shortly, he became so popular that Colors Bangla approached him for its comedy show “ChakaChak Comedy Chak”. He also appeared on “Hurdle Hawk”, a web-reality show by Addatimes. Apart from this, he has also acted in a Bengali short-film titled “Swopne Dekha Rajkonya” which was selected for the Cannes Short Film Corner 2018.

MTV Roadies Xtreme: The Game Changer

Sandy’s mother is a sportsperson and a huge fan of the youth-based reality show, MTV Roadies. Unlike his mother, however, Sandy was least interested in sports – and he always preferred to stay at home and play with dolls.

Surprisingly, he was selected in the Roadies Xtreme show. When he informed his mother about this, she was more worried than happy. She has been following this show, and is aware of the fact that it’s about both mental and physical fitness.

“My mom was worried about me – and initially, she refused to give me permission to go on the Roadies journey. It was a big opportunity and I didn’t want to miss the chance. So, I somehow convinced her, but she started giving instructions like I was a school kid going on adventurous picnic. I have been watching this show since childhood and becoming a part of it is like a dream come true,” said Sandy.

According to Sandy, his stint at the MTV Roadies Xtreme show allowed him to be a widely- recognisable person. He was already a familiar face in West Bengal and Bangladesh, but this show made him a household name across the nation.

Sandy is the first out-and-open gay contestant on Roadies who successfully made it to the end of the journey. He wanted to join Price Narula’s gang, but due to the new format of the show, he went into Neha Dhupia’s gang. Neha supported and guided him throughout the journey – and among his co-contestants, he has a huge crush on Kashish Pundir. He also became good friends with contestants such as Shubhada Nishtala, Minni Rohilla and Shruti Sinha.

“It was an experience of a lifetime that has brought much-needed positive changes in me. I would like to thank MTV for giving me this opportunity that not only made me strong but also helped me become a better version of myself. I will cherish all those moments for the rest of my life,” Sandy expressed.

The Other Side: Not Just An Entertainer

Before speaking to Sandy, I had thought that he was just an entertainer. If you also think so, then you are wrong. Let me tell you, Sandy is more than just an entertainer. Being from a family of working parents, Sandy started his own salon and spa business when he was just 19 years old. He is also a tarot-card reader and can predict the future through his fortune-telling skills.

Our common friend and former Roadies Rising contestant, Ankita Mehra, informed me that Sandy does a lot of social work. When I asked him, he refused to talk about it, but after convincing him, he agreed to describe what kind of work Sandy is involved in. Sandy and a group of his friends spend a portion of their income in helping unprivileged people, and in feeding and treating streets dogs and animals. They also help poor people get medical treatment, especially those who can’t afford expensive treatment procedures. They are planning to register an NGO through which they will keep on doing such social work on regular basis.

Sharing his thoughts, Sandy said, “I believe these kinds of social work should be done quietly. I am getting enough attention and publicity through my talent – so, I don’t want to advertise my social work, and I don’t need to do so. That’s why I avoid speaking about this to the media. In fact, I rarely share this on social media. In case someone needs help, I share it on my social media platforms urging people to help, as I have a decent fan-following.”

The Road Ahead

After winning hearts through his stint in Roadies Xtreme, Sandy has been receiving offers from Bengali TV shows and films. Currently, however, he is focusing on expanding his salon and spa business – and he is also planning to launch a salon brand under his name. He also intends to keep on doing social work as it gives him immense satisfaction.

On the work front, he told me that he would continue to create videos to entertain people. After Roadies, he is aspiring to try his luck in the forthcoming season of Colors’ Big Boss. However, according to the new format introduced this year, the door only be open for couples. So, he is planning to enter the show with his good friend and another social media sensation, Hero Alom from Bangladesh.

When I asked Sandy to share a message to our readers, he said, “I would like to urge people not to bother about the society and to start loving yourself. Be what you are – and if you are confident that you are on the right track, then don’t change yourself for the sake of this hypocritical society.”

Hence, I hope I have made myself clear as to why I like Sandy Saha. Undoubtedly, his positive attitude is inspiring many people – especially the way he came out on Wishfie, expressing that he doesn’t care about others. He is an LGBTQ icon who is setting new trends by breaking the fetters and fighting against the old norms of the society.


You can follow Sandy Saha on YouTube here.

You can watch his audition for MTV Roadies Xtreme here.


You must be to comment.
  1. Mehak Kapoor

    currently, new season is going on and in recent episode Post the high-octane Poll Kholo round, the gang leaders and the roadies are in for a bitter shock – the dreaded auctions! With Prince Narula victorious in the Poll Kholo round, he is itching to seek revenge against Gang Leader Neha Dhupia for eliminating an important contestant from his team last year. You don’t want to miss this high-intensity auction, on Voot!

More from Shikhrani Raghvendra

Similar Posts

By Mrittunjoy Guha Majumdar

By Preeti Ojha

By Charkha features

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below