Educational institutions are the hub of diversity. This diversity should be respected and catered to. This diversity encompasses not only people from various socio-economic backgrounds, but also people with different gender identities.
Most often than not, these institutions are not transgender friendly, perhaps in terms of policy formation and administrative functioning.
While on paper, many educational institutions in Delhi, including schools and the University of Delhi have attempted to curate policies specifically for transgender people, hardly any have been able to actually implement them.
However, in a landmark event, National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata has formulated a Trans-Policy, in its entirety.
Roots of the policy
In a first of its kind event, NUJS has created history by introducing an independent policy for transgender people. The ‘Rights of Transgender and Gender Diverse Policy’ was notified on 27th of February.
The policy has its roots in erstwhile decision making, consultation and implementation processes, wherein the Legal Aid Society, collaborated with the Gender and Sexuality forum in 2015, in a bid to take the ideation forward.
The policy was a result of immense consultation and discussion over a period of three years, with the first draft being prepared in 2016. It was only in April 2018 that the final draft was prepared.
The consultants for the policy included many members and activists who work closely with transgender communities.
Many erstwhile students of the university also contributed in the formulation of this policy.
What does the policy consist of?
Within the fundamental NALSA judgment, wherein transgenders were granted legal recognition, rights, socio-economic provisions and security from social stigma and the mandate by the University Grants Commission to make educational institutions more transgender friendly, this policy emerged.
The policy talks about the rights and entitlements that should be granted to transgender people along with the administrative, academic and infrastructural reforms required for the implementation of the policy.
The agenda of the policy is essentially de-stigmatisation coupled with the creation of an environment that is non discriminatory.
Setting an example?
The move is definitely historic and has set the bar for other institutions. The implementation of the policy however, is yet to examined.
This is undoubtedly a major step forward for Indian society. All other institutions too, should perhaps follow this carefully curated path.
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