BANGALORE: In a much appreciated move, Bangalore University had announced a reservation for transgenders in post-graduate courses from the academic year 2010-11.
However, much to the disappointment of authorities, there has been no response to the initiative. Not a single candidate applied under the quota.
“When we introduced this reservation in 2010, there were absolutely no takers. However, we hoped that there would be some applicants in the future. It’s four years since the reservation was announced but till date there has been no response,” said Jayram, a BU official.
The proposal to provide the reservation was approved in an Academic Council meeting in July 2010 and the university decided to reserve one seat in each PG course.
‘They Drop out of Schools’
Transgenders are pointing out to the fact that the drop out rate in the school level among their community is very high.
Nandhana Nadeesh of Karnataka Sexual Minority Forum told Express, “There is no point of having the third gender category in post graduation level when it is absent in the primary, secondary and graduate levels.
“Most of the community students leave studies after Class 10 due to financial problems and social stigma. When they don’t get a chance to complete their primary education, how can they join post graduation?” she said.
Sana, a transgender who works as a web designer at a private firm in Bangalore, said: “When they are 10 to 12 years old, transgenders start getting stigmatised by their friends in school. Then they face social isolation both from family and society. In order to lead a normal life they leave their family and start staying with their community people, which leads to financial problems. Then they leave academics and join work.”
“The government should do something to at least identify transgender students in the school level and give them moral and financial support to continue their education,” added Sana.
Giving her own example she said, “After leaving studies, if transgenders plan to start again, it is difficult to get through government schools and colleges. So they go for private courses and open universities to complete their education.”
Dr M K Sridhar, Professor & Director of Bangalore University said “If transgenders need to avail the reservation in the university, they first need to finish their graduation. The irony is we do not know how many transgenders have actually completed their graduation. However, we will keep the reservation open.”
When asked about the importance of a quota for transgenders in schools, Principal Secretary to the Primary Education Department, Rajkumar Khatri said, “We have no plans about it. But if we get any recommendation from the transgender community, then we are ready to consider it.”