India’s First Transgender School Opened In Kochi
Kochi: The first transgender residential school for the transgender people was opened in the Indian city of Kochi. Opened as an alternative learning centre to help the transgender who has dropped out of school without completing their education.
Transgender activist Kalki Subramaniam inaugurated the school notably who was a transgender woman herself. She said that ‘the day was the historic moment’ for her.
As transgender people undergoes a lot of criticisms, judgements and hostility in India which leads most of them to come out of the school without completing the higher classes.
Sahaj International school is the first of its kind in India which in collaboration with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has opened the school in Kochi, Kerala.
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Initially, the school would welcome ten pupils of age between 25-50 years.
The curriculum would include vocational skills, and the students could prepare for India’s class 10th and 12th board exams.
The head of the school and the transgender activist Vijayraja Mallika told the BBC reporters that the school aims at making the transgenders to live and work with decent jobs such that to attain their dignity.
Of the ten seats in total, the school has admitted six candidates from 14 applicants so far being all of them transferred from male-to-female persons. With the remaining seats, one was reserved for a female-to-male and one for the disabled candidates, said the school management.
A School With The Transgender Teachers
Sahaj International school was located in Kerala and was the first Indian State to adopt a transgender policy against the discrimination. The school promotes education and offers free gender reassignment surgery at the government hospitals.
The organisers said they have arranged for the sponsors to all the students to pay for their studies, food and accommodation.
The teachers who are to work there belongs to the transgender community such that aiming towards the protection and encouragement of the students.
The decision framed likely after the first transgender college principal of India, Manabi Bandopadhyay’s resignation that claimed the agitation of her sexual identity by her students and fellow teachers.
As India has got an estimate two million transgender people, the Supreme Court of India in 2014 ruled that the transgender people has equal rights under the law.
The law also states that they have right to marry and inherit property. They have even got rights for quotas in jobs and educational institutions.
However, exploitation and abuse are still present. Most transgender individuals have thrown out of their homes by their family members. They have denied from working and forced into sex work or begging or dancing in the public places.
A Model Centre
The head of the school Ms Mallika said, finding the location for the school was a great challenge since nobody has the willingness to rent their premises for this activity with a rejection of some 700 people and 51 households.
She also mentioned that those people thought that we have been looking the place for prostitution. But finally a place for the transgender students has found, she added.
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The first student for the school has come from Kerala, and the head hopes to gather more from beyond the state as it has some 25,000 transgenders with 57% has forced to drop out from schooling.
Ms Mallika mentioned the school as a model centre and once proved successful would expand the facility to admit more people from across the country.