In a move that is much appreciated by the transgender community in Tamil Nadu, the state government has announced free education for them in all the colleges affiliated to the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University. The decision is likely to be implemented from this academic year. In fact, one seat in every course of all the colleges affiliated to the university has been reserved for the transgenders.
Transgender activist and founder of Sahodari foundation Kalki Subramanium appreciated the decision taken by the government. Incidentally, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University is the first in India to offer free education to this community. In an announcement on Thursday, Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister KP Anbazhagan also said that all meritorious transgender students will be given a stipend of Rs 3,000 per month under the scheme. However, details are awaited about how students will be adjudged meritorious.
Speaking to the media, Kalki said, “It’s a great move. Education can transform anyone’s life and especially for underprivileged transgender persons in the country.”
She further added, “We have been waiting for a quota from the Central government as well as the state government. We need reservations in college for transgender people for at least the next ten years. But for everything we want, we have to fight, that is the situation now in Tamil Nadu or in any part of India.”
Transgenders, most often, have been stereotyped by the society, which proves to be a big hurdle for them when it comes to serving the nation. They have been discouraged from UPSC and other government exams and their dreams of becoming IAS officers or serving the nation have continued to be a distant goal. However, this move brings them a new ray of hope for a bright future.