Tridhara Toilets: A Noble Initiative

Toilets for the Transgender Community

Toilets for the Transgender Community

It is tough being a transgender. They continue to face discrimination and problems in the areas of education, employment, medical services etc. Basic access to toilets is among the many problems being faced by the transgender community in the country. Transgenders often find it difficult to enter a public toilet and are often barred from using them. However, in April 2017 the community got a relief with the center issuing a directive permitting transgenders to use toilets for men or women as per their choice. Now a 21-year-old youth has come up with a new and noble initiative of starting separate toilets for the transgender community.

Tridhara toilets

It was the society’s indifferent attitude towards the transgender community that propelled 21-year-old Sobhan Mukherjee to do something for them. Aware of the problems being faced by the community in finding easy access to toilets, Sobhan came up with an initiative where the transgender community would have toilets of their own. Sobhan approached Anita Kar, the local municipal councilor, with the idea that of the four pay-and-use toilets in south Kolkata‚Äôs Bansdroni area, two washrooms should be exclusively set aside for the ‘others’. He was readily given the go ahead by the local municipal councilor to create and put up signs for these washrooms.

Sobhan has named the toilets for transgenders as Tridhara. When translated in English, Tridhara means third power. The name was chosen as Sobhan felt that transgenders were the third community. The other two being males and females. The toilets are currently limited to the city of Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. Starting from ward ward 112, the toilets will be replicated in other wards such as 97, 100, 111 and 114. Anita Kar is talking with her counterparts in these wards to have separate transgender units in public toilets.

Meanwhile, Sobhan is aiming to spread the concept across the entire state of West Bengal and for this he has approached various agencies. His efforts are bringing results as enquiries have begun to pour in.

Accolades for Sobhan Mukherjee

It is perhaps for the first time in the country that efforts have been made to give transgenders a separate toilet. Sobhan Mukherjee is receiving accolades for his efforts to do something notable for the transgender community. He has received praise from the local municipal councilor Anita Kar for coming up with such a noble idea and working in an area where no one has ventured so far. The transgender community too has welcomed the move and some members of the community tied rakhi on Sobhan’s wrist to show their appreciation.