The transgender community in India faces severe discrimination. And struggles to uplift themselves due to the stigma that still persists. Whether it is housing or jobs, it is not easy for transgender individuals to live in India. To add to this, the violence and acts of transphobia still surface today. But for once, among the very few other times, the country has taken a step towards improvement.
The LGBT+ Politics in India
The LGBT+ political scenario in India today is like muddy waters. Most importantly, the Transgender Protection Bill was introduced in the winter session of the parliament. And people from the community and their allies took to the streets to protest against the bill. The bill drafted discriminated against the community. And to add to that, it also provided veto power to ministers.
Therefore, whenever the political parties in India decide to do something for the community, the air around it is eerie. The fear of more discriminatory decisions is evident. And the community is forced into feeling skeptical about the whole affair.
With the NRC and CAA bills added to this mess, the transgender individuals who do not possess documents fear more for their life. To simultaneously see Yogi Adinath open up a college for the transgender community in such a time might seem like an attempt to keep the community happy. Despite all the tumult.
Transgender College, Kushinagar
But bad vibes aside, the opening of a transgender university is seriously good news. Considering how important education can be for the emancipation. Whether it is for marginalised sectors or minority groups. We saw a transgender hostel being opened in Trichy last year. But to have a community-specific university would provide the transgender individuals of a space where they can comfortably be themselves. They can be amongst those who understand the lifestyle.
Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh will be the first district in India to have such a college. The university provides classes for transgender students right from class one and up to Post-Graduation. The students who want to continue studying beyond that can also do research and get a Ph.D. degree.
The Akhil Bhartiya Kinnar Siksha Seva Trust (All-India Transgender Education Service Trust) is building this university. The Fazilnagar block of the Kushinagar district is house to the university.
The president of the trust, Dr. Krishna Mohan Mishra had this to say.
“It is the first of its kind in the country where members of transgender community will be able to get education and the process of has already been initiated. From January 15 next year, two children who are brought up by the community members will get admission and from February and March other classes will start”.
He added the specifications and said, “In the university, the transgender community will be able to study right from class one to PG and even do research and get (a) Ph.D. degree”.
Firstly, the Yogi Government is behind the coming up of the university. And seeing the laws and bills that are being brought up, it is slightly ironic. But let us not take away from the good thing that the university definitely is. Ganga Singh Kushwaha, the local MLA shared his opinion with The Times Of India. “After passing out of the university, transgender people will be able to give a new direction to the community.”
Secondly, and hopefully, the party continues on this line and stays an ally to the LGBT+ community. And maybe the Transgender Protection Bill that has zero input from the transgender community, misidentifies the community and is severely discriminatory will finally be revoked. A cause that the entire community is still fighting for.
The Power of Education
Obviously, the transgender community is happy about the new initiative. They expressed their happiness about the opening of the University.
Guddi Kinnar, a member of the community said this.
“I am happy that we will be educated and get respect in the society. Education has power and I am sure it will not only change our lives but also the lives of others”.
The transgender community in India is often forced into prostitution or begging either circumstantially. Or situationally. And the social classes do not matter. More than often, transgender individuals are disowned by their families. Thus they sometimes have basic education and can barely read. With linguistic differences that already divide the country, the university will have a heap of challenges to overcome. Much before they can get the university running. Also, the faculty and staff must also be trained to be sensitive and inoffensive to the students.
Universities can play a major role in shaping individuals. Thus, it should be of utmost importance to empower these individuals. As well as help them get jobs that they would ace at. Either way, with better literacy rates and education opportunities, it is but obvious that we see a brighter future for the transgender community in Uttar Pradesh.
https://in.news.yahoo.com/true-lgbt-ally-yogi-govt-132858811.html https://thelogicalindian.com/get-inspired/indias-first-transgender-university?infinitescroll=1 https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/news/story/india-s-first-university-for-transgender-community-to-come-up-in-up-s-kushinagar-1631851-2019-12-27