In an effort to encourage transgender people to pursue higher education, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is endeavouring to provide them free education from its July session.

“We have sought help from transgender activists. Our target is to get enrolled at least five transgender people this time. The idea is to promote education among the third gender,” said Manorama Singh, Regional Director, Lucknow.

IGNOU offers 228 academic and professional courses in psychology, social sciences, sciences, tourism, education, management, rural development and others. Singh assured that transgender people have the right to enrol in any programme of their choice. Moreover, they are free to seek help from authorities during the course tenure.

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The provision of free education, by far, was restricted to sex workers, jail inmates and weavers. This move will, however, bring universalisation and democratisation in education.

According to the officials, the transgender community will not face any hurdles while applying for higher studies at IGNOU because they are not required to produce documents like transfer and migration certificates unlike other universities that demand formal documents form students. Documents like Aadhar, or any other certificate issued by Central government, state government, medical officer or any other competent authority will suffice.

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Such initiatives by the government will go a long way in elevating the status of the community. Recently, the Kerala government was planning a statewide education program for transgender people. Kerala was also hosted the first-ever beauty pageant for transgender people.

IGNOU’s decision to provide free education to transgender people will definitely empower them by giving them the golden opportunity of equipping themselves with the knowledge that can help them build a better future for themselves.

Read Also: Kerala Govt Plans Education Program For Transgender Community

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