Trans people in Kolkata will now have their reserved seats on a private bus and the mastermind behind this initiative is Sovan Mukherjee aka Padman of Kolkata. Sovan previously installed Bandhan sanitary napkin vending machine in various public toilets of Kolkata. The initiative was launched on Sunday.
Previously in 2019, Transgender Board member Ranjita Sinha had to face humiliation while travelling in Kolkata metro, when she tried to get a seat in the women’s section and had to get off the train too. She later approached the metro authorities for visibility awareness stickers to be put up in metro trains for spreading awareness regarding trans people rights but was turned down.
“I had approached the metro authorities regarding the Tridhara initiative but was turned down too”, said Sovan. It was due to this, that the idea of reserving seats for trans people in public buses came to my mind. This is important and absolutely my own idea and initiative, adds Sovan.
Sovan approached the Bus syndicate regarding this initiative, and Sri Tapan Banerjee, General Secretary of the Joint Council of Bus Syndicate was indeed very helpful and co-operative, as he readily agreed to this initiative of Sovan. Hence, the private buses on route 205/205A have seats reserved for trans people named ‘Tridhara’ with visibility stickers regarding awareness on trans people rights placed on the top of seats as well as on the wall of the buses too.
“Also, this is strictly not a reservation program for trans people but a visibility awareness campaign, aimed at spreading awareness among the people regarding the rights of trans people”, said Sovan. Due to this very reason, seats shall only be reserved for trans people where seats will be reserved for women. This program does not aim at any type of inequality or discrimination, rather intends to bring about a change in the society and the place of trans people in this society.