The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) will soon have a hostel for transgender and gender non-conforming students. This was notified to students on April 5.
The hostel facility will be available for these students from the upcoming academic session in July. The ground floor of an existing girls’ hostel will be used to provide accommodation to the gender-neutral
Space will be given to MA students who identify themselves as transgenders or to gender non-conforming students on campus. Twin-sharing rooms will be allocated as per the first-come-first-serve basis.
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Dean of Students Affairs, Prof. P.K. Shahjahan, considers this move as an initiative for the students’ welfare.
“We have been trying to achieve this for some time. The gender amity committee and student representatives have decided to create this space. This will be done on an experimental basis for one year, and we will take stock next year.”
Sai Tejo, an MA student, said the move has been in the works for some time. He said, “This is a product of several discussions and deliberations. There will be several more discussions as the hostel becomes operational.”
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In September 2017, the student general body had approved a resolution to create gender-neutral hostels and washrooms.
Waiting for clarity
Christopher Nag, an M.Phil student and part of the TISS Queer Collective, said they are waiting for clarity on rules. He insists on the fact that the struggle is for a gender-neutral space, not for the third gender.
Nag feels that the rules that apply to boys and girls cannot be applied to them. He believes it can be clarified once the hostel starts.
The institute even added ‘Mx’ on forms that students had to fill. To the existing list of Mr., Ms., Mrs., and Dr., ‘Mx’ depicts an honorable move. This was implemented in February this year.
Picture Credits: Mid-Day
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