Karnakata to provide free education to transgenders

As our country is gearing towards gender equality and empowering genders, Karnataka may soon become the first state to provide education to transgender students. The state is willing to provide them free education till post- graduation. This is a very significant step which is being taken for empowering the transgender students.

Prominent transgender activist Akkai Padmashali (Last on the right) welcomed the proposal, saying it should be rightly implemented

All the high authorities, including Karnataka State Higher Education Council, top academicians, vice chancellors from all the universities, major experts and the representatives who form the government all are thinking about the proposal for providing free education to the transgenders. They will make required recommendations on the proposal. KSHEC is a very important part which is involved in forming the policies with respect to the education system and is also involved in giving its feedback for the betterment of the education system.

According to an official, “Free education to third genders has been agreed in principle. The committee will primarily look into other aspects. Once decided, the order of providing free education to third genders will apply to all universities, and would also cover professional courses like engineering or medicine. The move has been appreciated by all.”

Not only this, the authorities are considering to provide free education to all the girls in different communities and also to all those suffering from some kind of physical deformation. A decision will soon be taken in this regard as well. Officials said, “free education to third genders till post-graduation was feasible, the proposal on providing free education to girl students from all communities needed to be looked into.”

A committee has been formed by the government to look into the matter. The committee is headed by Vice Chancellor, Kannada University Prof. (Dr.) Mallika S Ghanti.

Though a very positive initiative, on the same, Akkai Padmashali, a prominent transgender activist told ScoopWhoop, “We fully welcome the government’s proposal. If rightly implemented, Karnataka can script history and set a model for other states to follow.” She further added, “We only have two basic demands from the government. Firstly, all the decisions regarding transgenders must be taken in accordance with the active participation of people from the community. Secondly, all teachers and educationists must be given proper training about transgender rights and issues so that they have a fair understanding.”

A member from the community should also be made part of the committee so that they can also suggest required recommendations in the proposal.

Last year, Kerala government introduced a scholarship program for transgender students, first such kind of the initiative in the country. Under the initiative, beneficiary candidate will receive the scholarship amount for 10 months duration in a year. Even the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) issued a gender-neutral graduate degree, thus becoming first institution in the country to do so.

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