In an attempt towards building a progressive nation, two transgender persons will be studying in one of the oldest colleges in the country. Joining the graduation course in CMS College, Kottayam, Avantika and Shana Navas will be the first transgender persons to be attending classes in the college. The college is over two centuries old and both of them will be pursuing a BA from there.

Avantika has set her eyes on cracking the civil services exams and is preparing for it. Currently, she is living with her friends in Ernakulam. Further for residence, she hopes the government will soon launch shelter homes for transgender persons in Kottayam.

Following a sequence of hardships, Avantika said that when she passed 10+2 with 79 percent, society didn’t want her to proceed further in studies. Even her family deserted her and she had to leave her home. She had to then settle in a Hijra group in Bangalore following financial and identity crisis. However, when the Kerala state government ordered for two seats per course in the colleges, Avantika’s will to study encouraged her to return. Interestingly, she has set her eyes on cracking the civil services exams and is preparing for it. Currently, she is living with her friends in Ernakulam. Further for residence, she hopes the government will soon launch shelter homes for transgender persons in Kottayam so that she can settle there and proceed towards achieving her goal. Moreover, she is very interested in politics and is a member of AISF, the student’s wing of CPI. She is also looking forward to contesting in the college elections in order to seek recognition for transgender persons.

The other one, Shana, had also left her home and is currently residing in Jyotis Bhavan in Ernakulam. She is of the belief that no one is willing to arrange accommodation for them and hence, the government should establish certain shelter homes, particularly for transgender persons. She, unlike Avantika, wishes to become an HR of an MNC.  However, she too is interested in politics. “I want to make maximum benefit of the three years in college. Let the college benefit from me and let me benefit from the college,” she said.

“I want to make maximum benefit of the three years in college. Let the college benefit from me and let me benefit from the college,” she said.

Both of them were highly obliged towards the college authorities who took extra care that the process is carried out smoothly and they don’t face any problem.

First school for transgender people started in 2016 in India

The first transgender school of the country was opened in 2016 in Kochi, India. This is a residential school for transgender people, who had to come across the hostility of others for being how they are. The program focuses on providing education to transgender persons who had to drop out of school following societal conservatism. The school is named as Sahaj International and is the first of its kind in the country.

The school was set to welcome 10 pupils aged 25-50 while preparing them for 10 and 12 board exams which people normally sit for at the age of 16 and 18. The curriculum was also designed with some vocational courses in it. Transgender activist Vijayraja Mallika, who heads the school, told the BBC: “The school aims at making transgenders eligible for taking decent jobs and living a dignified life. We have admitted six candidates so far, all male-to-female persons, from 14 applicants. Of the 10 seats, we have reserved one for female-to-male and one for the disabled.”

Read More: Laila Ali, First Pakistani Transgender Woman To Get A Driving Licence

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