In a first-of-its-kind move, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University (MSU) in Tamil Nadu has made all courses free for transgenders. This initiative includes all courses from the undergraduate to the doctorate level. The decision will come into effect from this academic year and has been made to improve the economic well-being of people belonging to the transgender community.
MSU was founded in 1990 and has over 65,000 students across all its affiliated colleges. According to LGBTQ Nation, Vice-chancellor K Baskar spoke about the intention behind the measure. He said,
After getting neglected by the society and even by their parents, the transgenders are forced to beg on the streets. If we can create a favourable condition for acquiring better educational qualifications, it will enable them to occupy enviable positions in government or private institutions, and hence, MSU has taken an initiative in this direction.
Instructions have also been given to the principals of all colleges under the university’s inclusive resolution to build separate bathrooms for students, staff, and guests of the transgender community. Tamil Nadu has demonstrated time and again some really progressive moves for the betterment of the transgender community, be it appointing the first trans police officer last year or hosting the country’s first-ever pride parade in 2009.
According to Pink News, he further emphasised the university’s belief and said,
A transgender from Salem has become the first sub-inspector of Police in Tamil Nadu to prove that providing right opportunity is important for them to come up in life. We, by giving the fee waiver, have announced in an unequivocal manner that MSU is for the upliftment of the third gender. We should ensure a respectable life for them.
MSU’s move is a great step in a positive direction, reinstating the belief that every human should have an equal opportunity to grow.