Kolkata diary: Transgender gets nod to appear for UPSC exam, Tipu Sultan Mosque gets new imam and Metro tunnel nears Esplanade junction
English teacher Atri Kar has become the first transgender from West Bengal to be eligible to attend the UPSC examination under the ‘other’ category.
Transgender gets nod to appear for UPSC exam
English teacher Atri Kar has become the first transgender from West Bengal to be eligible to attend the UPSC examination under the ‘other’ category. The 28-yearold tasted victory after fighting for two years for her rights at the Central Administrative Tribunal of the Calcutta High Court. On February 27, the court allowed her to appear for the exam as an ‘other category’ candidate. Atri had refused to fill the UPSC form in ‘Male’ or ‘Female’ category in 2017. Subsequently, she moved the court which at first dismissed the case but then ruled in her favour.
Tipu Sultan Mosque gets new imam
After the suspension of controversial Imam Noor-ur Rehman Barkati, who was also known as ‘fatwa imam’, trustees of the famed Tipu Sultan mosque in central Kolkata appointed a new head. Imam Maulana Mufti Abdush Shakur, the new imam, has been advised to keep away from making political speeches, issuing fatwas or using a beacon on his car. The 58-year-old Hafeez-e- Quran (someone who knows the Quran by heart) has been strictly asked to perform his duties of a religious leader only. Among his religious duties are leading ‘namaaz’ five times a day. The mosque holds a special place for the Muslims in the city.
Metro tunnel nears Esplanade junction
After digging a tunnel from beneath the Ganga, the East-West Metro line phase tunnel has reached the Esplanade junction where the existing north-south line will intersect with the new line. The tunnel boring from under the river bed to Esplanade was particularly critical as there are many heritage structures in the central part of Kolkata. A majority of these buildings date back to the Raj era with some of them aging more than 100 years. Work on the other phase from Salt Lake to the Sealdah railway station in the eastern part of the metropolis is also being carried out at a fast pace.
Summer coolers on everyone’s minds
The city is already sweating in the first week of March. Kolkata is known for its hot and humid summers. The weather also means summer coolers making a comeback. And, what can be better than traditional food that brings some relief to the people? Watermelon and sugarcane are popular options to stay cool and hydrated. In fact, watermelons are being stocked in refrigerators of Kolkatans. Sugarcane juice sellers are also doing a brisk business as a large number of office goers drink it to keep themselves hydrated.
Our correspondent in West Bengal