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LGBT Rights

21-Year Old's Concept for LGBT Dedicated Washrooms Has Created a Stir

August 8th, 2017
Over 4 public toilets in the Bansdroni region of Kolkata have opened gates to transgender people by making out a separate washroom for them. The initiative marks a victory over inhibitions and lack of basic rights for the members of LGBT community.

The Tridhara toilets (toilets for transgenders), which started its journey from ward 112, might be replicated in other wards as well. Anita Kar Majumdar, councillor of the ward, has started talking to her counterparts in wards 111, 114, 100 and 97 so that public toilets in those wards also have units for the third gender.

"They are keen on it. Soon, we will see such facilities in those wards. In fact, we all should be trying to include the idea in government schemes," said the councillor.

Shobhan Mukherjee, the brain behind the concept, and his friends who publish vernacular monthly magazine 'Kobi Kolam', are approaching various agencies so that the idea can be spread across the state. And the efforts have started paying off, with many enquiring about the facility and trying to accept the existence of the third gender. The likes of Radhey Shyam, who mans the toilet complex near the Masterda Surya Sen metro station, have started accepting the change.

"Earlier, we would not see too many transgenders coming to use the public toilets. We would try to avoid those who came. Now, we know they have a right to use this facility and we have no right to stop them," said Radhey Shyam.

For the community, this was the biggest gift on Raksha Bandhan. As a token of appreciation, members from the community tied rakhi on Mukherjee's wrist on Monday.