The Centre for Social Justice at West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), in collaboration with Kolkata Anandam for Equality and Justice, organized a transformative Sensitization and Legal Awareness program on Transgender Rights and the Law.
The event witnessed esteemed dignitaries and experts in attendance, including the Honourable Minister of State, Shashi Panja, and prominent members of the legal community. Kolkata Anandam for Equality and Justice has been dedicated to promoting the rights and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community in West Bengal for over a decade. Their previous initiatives have included collaborations with judicial officers and the police to enhance the quality of life and secure the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.
With the enactment of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019 and the subsequent Rules 2020, along with the ongoing development of the West Bengal Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules 2022, this program was vital in bridging the gap between the transgender community, law enforcement authorities, and the legal academia. WBNUJS has consistently worked towards inclusivity through legal channels, and this event was a testament to that commitment. The Sensitization and Legal Awareness program took place on September 9, 2023, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The stakeholders included the police, judicial officers, advocates, and law students, all of whom play a crucial role in upholding the rights and welfare of transgender persons. Judicial officers, SLSA empaneled advocates, and police officers attended to gain insights into the legal aspects surrounding transgender rights.
The program aimed to achieve the following objectives:
- Increase awareness and participation of the Police, Judicial Officers, and Advocates in terms of their rights and duties.
- Raise public awareness and educate about the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community.
- Provide a platform for individuals from the LGBTQ+ community to share their experiences and perspectives.
- Sensitize society on how to coexist harmoniously with LGBTQ+ individuals.
The outcomes of the program included:
- Sensitization of various stakeholders within the legal and judicial machinery of West Bengal.
- Encouragement of a consultative approach to the application of the new transgender rights laws.
- Publication of the output from each session, to be compiled at the end of the year. In conclusion, the Sensitization and Legal Awareness program on Transgender Rights and the Law was a significant step toward fostering understanding, empathy, and awareness within society and the legal community.
The presence of distinguished individuals like Minister Shashi Panja, Justice Joymala Baghchi, Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya, and Professor Dr. N K Chakrabarti highlighted the importance of the event. It is through collective efforts and continuous education that we can truly champion the rights and dignity of transgender individuals in West Bengal and beyond.
MADE BY – Saksham Jain (4th Year, BA LLB (Hons.), NUJS Kolkata)