By Tanya Sharma
Delhi University made a dynamic move in 2014 when it decided to include a third gender in its admission forms, thereby providing a sense of inclusiveness to transgender people of the society. It was indeed a ray of hope and government support for transgender people who have been denied admissions in some prestigious educational institutions was much appreciated.
However, the law passed could not do much when it came to social acceptance of the third gender in the colleges.
The ill-treatment starts from the admission process and continues till the classrooms. The officials too are not able to provide these students with a sense of harmony. Rampant bullying and ostracism is what follows them in the college campuses.
In an interview to the Hindustan Times, a Delhi based transgender, Anu, who visited the campus to apply for admissions in 2016 said, “When we were filing the form, they (some officials in DU) asked us: how long have you been a transgender? Since how many days?”
Hearing such words from the educated strata of the society not only left her terrified but also compelled her to withdraw her admission.
Like Anu, another Delhi based transgender told the daily how she was welcomed to the campus with words like ‘chhaka’ among other slurs and was teased till she left. “I approached a group of students to find get directions to the window for filling up the application for DU’s School of Open Learning (SOL). They called me a ‘chhaka’. I never thought that educated people could be so insensitive. We are also a part of the society. I knew right then that I will never be one of them.”
She added how such insults leave the transgender students dispirited, leading them to withdraw their admissions and continue with some vocational courses.
The college authorities claim to do their bit by organizing counseling sessions for students so that the stigma attached to the transgender community is done away with in the educational institutions.
While talking to Hindustan Times, the Principal of Hans Raj College, Dr. Rama Sharma said, “We are aware of the issue and therefore, frequently organize counselling sessions for our students and staff to sensitize them about how to deal with those who come to seek admissions and study. I believe all colleges should try to make the environment friendly for everyone.”
Another thing that adds to the ordeal of the transgender students is the unavailability of separate washrooms for them even after the orders of the University Grants Commission (UGC). It further leads to violence and inhospitality for such students.
The Supreme Court has done its work by recognizing the third gender, but we as a ‘modernized society’ have a long way to go.
Work needs to be done on the ground level and the social stigma attached to the transgender community needs to be done away with.
Every human on this planet is entitled to education and no one can take this right away.
We need to instil the sense of equality in our minds. Education is one basic right everyone deserves without any hindrance based on caste or how one is born.
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