Extending the ‘Literacy tag’ to Third Genders

p1Kerala has always been in the forefront in extending its support to the transgender community. With many historic and path breaking steps the state itself has played a key role in removing the social stigma associated with the third genders. Being always a model state in literacy, Kerala now opened country’s first transgender school; named Sahaj International School.

In this epic move, the school was opened in Thrikkakkara, Kochi. It is the first residential school in India to open its doors exclusively for the adults, who dropped out of schools after it was found that they belong to the transgender community and faced discrimination in society. The school aims at educating the third gender individuals so that they would also be an eligible community to work in various fields.

The school is run by transgender for the transgender community. According to the authorities, school aims to provide safety, sustainability and security to third genders. It also aims at ending the discrimination towards the transgender community. The curriculum also offers vocational skill development training along with traditional curriculum which would further help the third gender individuals to get employed and treated as ordinary citizens. Even though various organizations including Kochi Metro have offered job opportunities to transgender, their lack of education would always be a hindrance. Educational projects like Sahaj International School would enable the third gender individuals to lead a normal life with dignified jobs.

Through this school, the third gender community could also maintain an independent financial system along with educational mechanism. The finance for the school is mostly from their personal savings and funds from social organizations and individuals. The teachers are also transgenders.  As part of their independent venture, the authorities have also arranged sponsors for providing food, accommodation and school aids to students.

These kind of ventures for the third gender community should be supported so that they could lead a normal life. Even when the state supports the cause, to some extend the society still frames them as “different”. Such projects should be initiated through government bodies, so that they are not considered different anymore.

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