Kerala Boosts Transgender Rights With Education Scholarship

Published: 21st September 2015 06:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2015 06:27 AM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It may not lessen the societal stigma faced by transgenders, but in a first, the state government has decided to institute a scholarship for students from the community to fund their studies.

The scholarship instituted by the Social Justice Department is touted to be the first-of-its kind in the country. Students in five categories, including those in government, aided and self-financing, would benefit from the initiative.

A student would receive scholarship for 10 months in a year. Postgraduate, undergraduate and diploma students will receive `2,000 per month, plus-one and plus-two students `1,500, while 7th to 10th graders will get `1,000. The Department has earmarked a sum of `62.5 lakh to be utilised this year under the head.

STATE.JPG“Nowhere else in the country have such a scholarship programme instituted for transgender students by a state government. This is to bring down the incidents of harassment against TG students. Students will be required to produce medical certificate and the schools need to identify them. We have to see how it would turn out and cannot predict the nature of response from students,” said V N Jithendran, director of Social Justice Department.

The final draft policy for TGs in the state, formulated recently, has pivotal measures to ensure equality of transgender students. It has found out that 58 per cent of transgender students drop out before completing 10th grade of which 24 per cent drop out well before completing ninth grade. Major reasons include harassment, gender related negative experiences at school and lack of poverty/social educational quota or reservations.

It proposes that the educational institutions and universities issue a TG policy to address issues of gender non-conforming and TG students and establish an anti-discrimination cell to monitor any form of discrimination/harassment.

In all forms, they must include an option to mark transgender along with male and female. Starting from upper primary level, awareness of school students towards TGs must be done. All these comes under the responsibility of General Education and Higher Education departments.

India Matters


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