‘Padanaveedu’ opens new chapters in the lives of transgender people in Kerala
PATHANAMTHITTA: For Ziya Paval, a 22-year-old transwoman from Kozhikode, pursuing higher education at a prestigious institution had always been a dream since her school days. Thanks to ‘Padanaveedu’, an initiative under the Kerala State Literacy Mission, she was able to complete a higher secondary equivalency course, which gave wings to her dreams.
“I completed my higher secondary equivalency course and have now enrolled for BA English at Sacred Heart College, Thevara. Kerala State Literacy Mission’s ‘Samanwaya’ continuing education scheme for transgender people made this possible,” says Ziya.
Ziya and her partner Zahad Fazil are the first transgender couple in India to have birthed a biological child. ‘Padanaveedu’ at Pandalam in Pathanamthitta (the only one in the state) was set up by the Literacy Mission as part of the Samanwaya scheme.
Transgender people from across the state can enrol themselves in Class X and higher secondary equivalency courses of the Mission at ‘Padanaveedu.’ Besides accommodation facilities, each transgender student will get a monthly scholarship of `1,200 through the scheme.
“Samanwaya was launched in 2017 with an aim to provide free education for transgender people. ‘Padanaveedu’ was set up with financial assistance from the social justice department. So far, 62 transgender people have completed higher secondary equivalency courses and 16 completed Class X equivalency courses. Now, 12 transgender people have been admitted to new batches,” said ‘Padanaveedu’ coordinator Niza J.
Niza said the Literacy Mission has also been carrying out a special campaign for bringing more transgender people to join the courses under ‘Samanwaya’. As part of the studies, awareness programmes and job-oriented training are being provided to students, Niza added.
“Padanaveedu provides a good opportunity for transgender people to pick up from where they had to leave their academic journeys due to various reasons. I request everyone in the community to make the best use of the scheme to continue their education,” Ziya said.