KOCHI: From having the highest number of transgender students studying in various departments to organising a cultural event solely for the third gender, Maharaja’s College is setting an example for other institutions of higher education not only in the state but also in the country.
On Thursday, the college union and the women’s cell came together to conduct ‘Pride Maharajas’ which provided a platform for transgender students to showcase their talents.
“Programmes like ‘Pride Maharajas’ will go a long way to motivate the community,” said Sheethal Shyam, a transgender activist, who inaugurated the event.
According to her, the college has always stood first in introducing revolutionary decisions. “Programmes like Pride Maharajas give the transgender students a platform to show their talents. These programmes will strengthen them,” said Sheethal.
Maharaja’s College Women’s Cell head Shajila Beevi said the main aim of the programme was to ensure equality for transgender students in society. “Everyone talks about creating awareness among people in society. However, when it comes to the student community, only a direct approach will do any good. They need to get a clear picture of what the transgender students face every day in their life,” said Shajila.
“That’s exactly what we intended by staging the drama titled ‘Parayanmaranna Kadhakal’,” said Shajila.
In the drama, staged by members of Dwaya foundation, transgender actors narrate their experiences - how they identified their selves and the problems they face during their journey, said Shajila.
“Daya Gayathri, a 24-year-old BA Malayalam student of the college, is the brain behind the programme. She is the college students’ union transgender representative,” said the teacher.
According to Daya, many transgender students need a helping hand. “We, as students, want others to consider us as equals and behave respectfully just like they do with other students. We want them to know that we are like them too. People need to realise that we too have hopes, aspirations and talents like them. This was the reason why we thought of organising ‘Pride Maharajas’. I am glad to see the positive response from our college and thank the Dwaya foundation for helping us,” said Daya.