Fighting prejudice – Premankur Biswas

Rarely do victims rise to empower themselves and help others. Transgender social worker Amitava Sarkar is a hero of such ilk, says our correspondent

Circa 2001
On a late ashtami night, Amitava Sarkar and a few of his friends decided to visit a popular South Kolkata pandal. With the unfathomable buoyant spirit that overwhelms us during the autumn festival, Sarkar and his other transgender friends proceeded towards their destination.

But their journey was stopped short. At the long serpentine queue in front of the pandal, some young men approached Sarkar and his friends. They insisted that Sarkar accompany them to the club premises of the locality. When he refused, they resorted to force, hundreds of bystanders were mute witness to the incident. Sarkar and his friends escaped with much difficulty. Shocked and traumatised, Sarkar and his friends decided against lodging a police complaint because they feared harassment.