Kerala launches India's first transgender school
- Sahaj International School was opened in Kochi
- School aims to provide security, sustainability and security to third genders
- The head of the school and teachers will be from transgender community
In a historic move, country's first transgender school was opened in Thrikkakkara, Kochi. It is the first residential school in India to open its doors exclusively for the adults who dropped out of schools after it was found that they belong to the transgender community.
Transgender activist Kalki Subramaniam inaugurated Sahaj International School. In the first stage, it will welcome 10 pupils between the age of 25 to 50 and will prepare them for Class 10 and 12 board exams. The curriculum includes vocational skill development along with the traditional curriculum and will work in collaboration with National Institute of Open Schooling.
"The residential school aims to make third genders eligible to take decent jobs and have a dignified life. Ten persons will be admitted of which one will be reserved for disabled. This school is for those who had to drop out of school because they were abused by school authorities or family," transgender activist Vijayraja Mallika, the head of the school said.
The authorities have arranged sponsors for providing food, accommodation and studies to students. Teachers too will be from the transgender community.
The decision to open the school was taken after Manabi Bandopadhyay, India's first transgender college principal had to resign from the post owing to 'non-cooperation' from students and colleagues.
Kerala is the first Indian state to adopt a policy to prevent discrimination against transgenders. The policy promotes inclusive education and free gender reassignment surgery for the transgenders at government hospitals.