Meet Jiya Das, West Bengal’s first transwoman OT technician
After the recent announcement of Supreme Court decriminalising homosexuality by striking down Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code, many stories of hope have emerged from the LGBTQ community - inspiring tales of overcoming stigma and hardships to prove their mettle in their respective fields. One such story is of Jiya Das who has now become West Bengal’s first woman transgender operating theatre technician.
Jiya is an intern at Medica Superspecialty Hospital—which is the largest chain of hospitals in the east. A few days back, Jiya created history by become Bengal’s first transwoman OT technician to assists doctors during a live operation.
A resident of the Malda district in West Bengal, 347 kilometres from Kolkata, Jiya hails from a humble background. She had to work as a dancer to support her family after her father underwent a heart surgery. She had to deal with lewd comments while she performed, and has faced several dangerous situations as well, where once she was made to dance at gunpoint.
Her life took a different course when an organisation that works for marginalised youth reached out to Jiya after she participated at a gender rights meet in Kolkata at the American Center last year. The event helped many people who belonged to the LGBTQ community by engaging them in a conversation with other NGOs and organisations.
She is now trained as an OT technician from School for Skills in Allied Health. Dr. Satadal Saha, the founder of School for Skills and Allied Health Science (SSAHS), helped Jiya by letting her undergo training free of cost. Owing to her performance, her internship was extended to six months, shared the team at SSAHA, in a conversation with YourStory. It is during this period that she became Bengal’s first transwoman OT technician to assist doctors during a live operation.