India is progressing one step at a time. The last few months have been good signs of development, in a way smashing the redundant laws from ages. Section 377, partially decriminalising homosexuality was a major relief to all the members of the LGBTQ community. The country has also seen few examples of transgenders owning up and creating good causes, professionally or socially. Now in another important happening, a transgender from Kolkatta is all set to take part in chakshu dan, the tradition of painting the eyes of Goddess Durga. Durga Puja 2018 is an awaited festival in the state and the preparations are going on in full swing. Durga Puja 2018 Dates in Kolkata After Mahalaya: Tithi Calendar Durga Ashtami 2018, Maha Navami & Saraswati Puja Shubh Muhurat Time During Navratri Festival.
A lawyer by profession, Sayantani Ghosh, who calls herself Megh will be taking part in the festivities of Durga Pujo, by drawing the eyes of the Goddess. A process that has been essentially done by the male artisans, Sayantani, a 28-year-old transgender will take the charge. She was invited by two puja organisers in the city- Jodhpur Park Cultural Association, and by the Torpedo Welfare Society, a puja committee based in Howrah district on Tritiya. Other than the chakshu daan, she is also the brand ambassador for other two puja organisers- Baghajatin Nirbhik Sangha and Sonarpur Recreation Club. Durga Puja 2018: Idols of Goddess Durga for Navaratri Are Made With Soil From Sonagachi Brothels, Here's Why!
Megh spoke to Indian Express to talk about the ritual,"I am honoured and privileged. It is a big initiative for me and the transgender community as a whole…It is a message that not only men, but women and transgenders can also partake in the ritual. I consider it a big achievement in our lives,” she added. As a child she was scared to visit the pandals and people would make a mockery out of her, but today she has established an identity and would also be representing the same. Professionally too Megh has undergone several struggles with people not offering her cases, forcing her to quit. But in 2017 she won a divorce case and celebrated her success. 22-Year-Old Malini Das Becomes First Transgender Engineer in Rajasthan.
Sonarpur Recreation Club's treasurer Rajib Bhuniya told the news report, "Most puja organisers make celebrities, sports stars and other stalwarts their brand ambassadors. But we decided to make her our ambassador this year. She has struggled and has become one of the first transgender lawyers in the country. It is an achievement." The pandals aim to give equal respect to the trangenders in the society and what better way than to address it during one of the biggest gatherings in the society. It is indeed a positive sign that the pandals have decided to represent the section of the society, that is still being neglected.