After becoming the first Indian state to adopt a transgender policy, Kerala is all set to write history yet again by starting India’s first transgender residential school. Located in Kochi, Sahaj International School will be inaugurated on December 30 this year, by transgender rights activist and artist Kalki Subramaniam.
Transgender rights activists Vijayaraja Mallika, Maya Menon, and Faisal CK made an announcement about the school in a press conference on December 15.
Initially, the school will accommodate 10 transgender students who will study under the National Open School system. The 10 students have been selected from different backgrounds within the transgender community. A group of teachers and social workers have come forward to be a part of the school. “The aim of transgender school is to provide transgenders security, salvation and sustainability,” Vijayaraja added.
The school curriculum will include skill development programmes along with examinations equivalent to Classes 10 and 12.
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The school will be led by six transgenders working with the TransIndia Foundation, Vijayaraja being one of them. She has a post-graduate degree in social work and is the driving force behind “Sanathana,” a project of TransIndia Foundation to ensure that transsexual school dropouts complete their education in a course equivalent to Class 10. “Even though organisations like Kochi Metro are coming forward to provide job opportunities for transgenders, the lack of qualifications is seen as a challenge among transgenders,” she told Deccan Chronicle in September 2016.
This is a major step towards accepting the transgender and LGBTQ community in India.