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Why Was India’s First Trans College Principal Denied RTPCR Test?

Kolkata: So much for Pride Month! While the whole world is in the midst of celebrating the event, comes the news that India’s first transgender college principal, Manobi Bandopadhyay was denied a COVID RTPCR test in Kolkata’s Bangur Hospital on Saturday. What is more, she was also called ‘mental’ by the hospital staff. Manobi had a fever and visited the hospital. While her husband got tested and later his reports came out positive, she was denied a test without stating the reason.

Manobi, the vice-chairperson of the West Bengal Transgender Development Board,  attempted to meet the hospital superintendent but was allegedly stopped by a lady security guard and some workers. She shared a video narrating the entire incident on Facebook and how the security guard misbehaved with her, for her identity.

“I was asked by the guard why I was there. She alleged that I had been there previously whereas, I have never been to that hospital. She went on asking me about my health details, whereas I wonder whether she even had the right to ask me these questions. I had my face and head covered. I wasn’t violating any covid norms, why was I not allowed for the test? It has been three days, I have not received a response from the superintendent despite sending a grievance letter,” News18 quoted her as saying.

Later, speaking to reporters, the superintendent clarified that this shouldn’t have happened as the hospital has “a separate ward for trans people seeking covid-19 test.”

However, Manobi questioned such an arrangement and asked, “Why do I have to reveal I am a transwoman. I visited there as a woman and why should you have a separate facility for trans people? What is the need?”

“Just because I am a transwoman, I was not tested. I was called mental and I feel so broken,” Manobi told Anand Bazar Patrika (ABP).

However, the hospital authority later clarified that anyone is allowed to meet the superintendent and there was no complaint received in this regard, ABP reported.

“I got to know from social media that such a thing had happened. There are two beds reserved for transgenders. We treat such cases very sensitively,” Sisir Naskar, MR Bangaur hospital superintendent told India Today.

In another video, Manobi has shared that her condition is not good and she has finally been admitted to a hospital.

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