Fire burning bright: Aparna’s and Amrita’s work in public health

Amrita Sarkar and Aparna Banerjee set out to demand for transgender-affirmative public-health system in India, and in the process, discovered themselves.
By and | Published on Jan 14, 2022

Trigger warnings: Mentions of transphobia

It’s vital to realise that the narrative of gender-based discrimination in science, technology, engineering, medicine and allied disciplines has been limited to cis-women in science. This post is part of a series of posts (we call this the ‘transgender persons in science mini-series’) that hopes to dismantle the invisibilisation that transgender persons in science go through. This mini-series started last year as a part of season 5 of TheLifeofScience.com

The fifth piece in the series (and the fourth comix) features Aparna Banerjee and Amrita Sarkar, two transgender women who’ve spent their lifetimes working for making public-health in India more conscious of the needs of transgender persons. The conversation between Aparna, Amrita and TheLifeofScience.com’s Sayantan Datta is brought to life by Rox’ illustrations.

The script of this comix can be found here.

Further Reading:

  1. A report on government’s condom ad ban: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-bans-condom-ads-from-6-am-to-10-pm-because-they-are-indecent/article21461765.ece
  2. A resource kit on public health in India by the Economic and Political Weekly: https://www.epw.in/engage/debate-kits/public-health-india
  3. Sayantan Datta’s articles on why queer-trans people in India should demand a better public health system: (a) https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trans-and-queer-people-in-india-should-demand-better-health-care/, (b) https://theswaddle.com/indias-healthcare-system-is-still-failing-queer-trans-people-a-public-health-movement-can-change-that/
  4. Avert.org’s web page on HIV and AIDS in India: https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-around-world/asia-pacific/india
  5. Critiques of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019: https://thewire.in/lgbtqia/trans-act-2019-rules-feedback-activists

Acknowledgements: TheLifeofScience.com Season 6 is supported by contributors to our crowdfunding campaign, STEMpeers, and also by a grant from the Thakur Family Foundation. Thakur Family Foundation has not exercised any editorial control over the contents of this reportage.

About the author(s)
Sayantan Datta
Sayantan Datta

Sayantan (they/them) is a queer-trans science writer, journalist and communicator.

Rox

Rox (they/them) are a trans artist and a 3D generalist. Everything they make is about introspection and extrospection rubbing against but existing along each other. Their Instagram is @patterninterruption and their Twitter is @dumdumjuicy.

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