Somabha Bandopadhay a graduate of NLSIU Bangalore with BA.LLB from School of Law, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar is presently pursuing her PhD at The West Bengal National University for Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata where she is also associated as a Research Assistant.
Having pursued honours in International Law and LLM in human rights law, Somabha has written and presented papers extensively at international and national levels. She has been the recipient of the Nani Palkhivala Memorial Gold Medal at NLSIU Bangalore, Chancellor’s Gold Medal and Nanibala Devi Memorial Gold Medal at KIIT and the KIIT Merit scholarship.
She is currently working extensively with the Transgender community in Kolkata and her primary focus is on the violence faced by the community from various stakeholders like police, family, school or college and the society at large.
About the webinar
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019 was passed in the Parliament whilst decisions on a crucial phase of Indian democracy was being deliberated upon- on the day of abrogation of Art. 370 of the Constitution of India. This is the only legislative framework in India that seeks to protect the transgender community of the country and surely it should have been deliberated and discussed much more with utmost sincerity than it actually received.
The historical injustices that the community has been a victim of is unprecedented and to ameliorate the same, the present legislation seems to have not much to offer. However, the community, activists and scholars working in this field believe that it is indeed a welcome step considering the fact that some kind sort of legal protection is now in place. With failed attempts in 2016 with the Bill by Tirucha Siva, this move is definitely worth praising.
The webinar offers an open platform to discuss the various issues concerning the Act, especially when the same is contrasted against the realities facing the community. This discussion is aimed at spreading awareness on the issues concerning the transgender populace of the country and what and what not this Act offers to protect their interests.
The speaker shall attempt to highlight the ignorance and unawareness, primarily because of not having on board the transgender community members whilst drafting the legislation (something that has been voiced by transgender activists, especially those who occupy respectable positions like in the Welfare Boards of the various governments), that lay underneath this legislation.
Prior to the enactment, the NLSA vs. Union of India judgement by the Supreme Court in 2014 protected the community from violence and accorded them the right to be recognised as such. However, does this Act adhere to the principles laid down in the judgement? Has it taken a step backwards or forward? Have the concerns been met by the Act and where do the transgender community stand now with this law in place? These are some of the pertinent issues that are expected to be dealt with in this webinar.
The webinar is open for students, scholars, academicians, advocates, human rights and transgender community activists and surely for the transgender community members.
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