The University of Delhi is aiming to include more transgender students during the University admission process, but given the archaic thoughts in Indian society, will this lead to positive consequences or their further isolation?
In 2015, the University of Delhi (DU) introduced the option of a ‘third gender’ to its admission forms. But for the next three years no admission was taken under this category. To improve this, in 2018, DU further established a Transgender Resource Center to reach out to more transgender students but the authorities met the same fate.
The authorities have now decided to reach out to encourage more admissions of transgender students. The process will involve reaching out to neighbourhoods, organising camps and sessions, spreading information about the admission process, and requirements regarding the same. Student volunteers and NGOs working for the welfare of the community will be actively involved in the process. The centre would also engage in dialogues with female professors and students to remove the restrictions related to the admission of transgenders in all women colleges.The University authorities have also collaborated with National AIDS Control Organisation, Delhi and Haryana state AIDS control societies for the same.
A number of harassment cases have also been noticed in the past. A student’s petition led to the Article 354(A) under the Indian Penal Code which allowed transgender individuals to complain against harassment. Another transgender student on speaking to a national daily spoke how they were called a chakka on the day of admissions itself. The problem also extends to lack of washrooms and other provisions for these students.
Transgender students have appealed to the court to allow them to change their name and gender in forms. However, this can be allowed only if they change it on their school certificates. The High Court ordered the officials from Central Board of Secondary Education to meet the University authorities and take a decision on the same. This is also because 80% of the applicants are from CBSE. For now, these students are only applying to the School of Open Learning.
Devyani Arora of Kamala Nehru College provided a positive view on the same. She said, “For any sort of inclusivity, there would be certain barriers, but the idea of starting something like this becomes extremely important. The inclusion of transgenders is not just needed, but also a great step for their upliftment.”
For the community to gain acceptance, it needs access to education which can further lead to their emancipation.
Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express
(With inputs from The Times of India)