Transgenders get school privilege in Rajasthan

Jaipur, Sept 19 : Rajasthan has become one of the first states to admit school students from the transgender community under the transgender category.
The directorate of secondary education has directed schools across the state to admit transgender students under the transgender category.

Till now, the schools did not have such a provision to admit students under the transgender category in schools. In a circular, the directorate said if any school shows reluctance or objects to admit transgender students, appropriate action will be taken against it. “The step, taken in line with the government’s socially inclusive approach towards education, will ensure that transgender students do not face any inconvenience in pursuing education,” said BL Swarnkar, the director of the secondary education board.

According to census 2011, there are 16,517 transgender people in the state and the literacy rate among them is 48.34 per cent. The transgender community members, however, say that
they first need proper identity cards and documents, without which no school would admit them.

At the first meeting of the Rajasthan Transgender Welfare Board, constituted following a Supreme Court ruling, on August 26, it was decided that the government would issue identity cards to transgenders. On April 15, 2014, the apex court recognised transgender as ‘third gender’ and said lack of formal recognition had furthered their exclusion and impeded extending of education and employment opportunities to them.

Social justice and empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi, after the transgender welfare board meeting, had said, “Efforts will be made to provide benefits of social welfare schemes (to transgender community) by mentioning third gender in application forms along with male and female.”

In June, the state’s higher education department asked government and private universities to amend their admission policy to benefit the transgender community.

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