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India's first transgender school soon to be set up in Kochi

Think Change India
20th Dec 2016
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The state of Kerala was in the news last year for becoming the first state in India to adopt a separate policy for transgenders. The objective of this policy is to end the societal disapproval shown towards this minority community. The policy states, "A Transgender justice board has to be set up to ensure equal rights and protection to the transgender community by providing gender identity certificates." This policy is applicable to all categories of transgenders.

Kerala has now gone on to create a sensation again by giving rise to India's first transgender school in Kochi. Named the Sahaj International School, it is going to be inaugurated on the 30th of December by the popular transgender rights activist Kalki Subramaniam.

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At a recent press conference hosted by the transgender rights activists Vijayaraja Mallika, Maya Menon and Faisal Ck, a few announcements were made. Initially, a batch of 10 transgender students shall be enrolled, who will study under the national open school system.

As reported by The Indian Express, Vijayaraja Mallika said, "A group of teachers and social workers have come forward to be a part of this initiative. The aim of this school is to provide security, salvation and sustainability to the transgenders. In the beginning, we have a few sponsors supporting us. We are planning to seek financial help from the government after proving its worthiness."

The curriculum of the school will employ various programmes based on skill development and also academic examinations corresponding to Class X and Class XII. Led by six transgenders that are working with the TransIndia Foundation, Vijayaraja is the mastermind behind 'Sanathana', a project that is developed primarily to make sure that transsexual dropouts complete their Class X education.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Vijayaraja said, "Even though organisations like Kochi Metro are coming forward to provide job opportunities for transgenders, the lack of qualifications is seen as a challenge."

Having been rejected by more than 50 property owners, they have had a lot of trouble in getting a place to start the school. However, a Christian organisation has come forward and offered to lease out a space for the school.

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