In a remarkable achievement for the transgender community in the state, the countdown for the opening of a school for transgender people who are dropouts has begun.
Named Sahaj, the residential school purportedly the first in the country, is to be inaugurated in Kochi on December 30, by transgender activist Kalki Subramaniam.
The initiative is by Ernakulam-based activist and family counselor Vijayaraja Mallika along with a few other activists. The five-year project in collaboration with the National Open School will provide 10 th and 12th std equivalency education and vocational training to school dropouts in the community.
Though the project had been in the pipeline for a few months now, The News Minute had earlier reported the difficulty of the organisers not being able to find a house in the city for the school to work out of, thanks to the prejudice against the community.
Read: A Kerala centre for transgender school dropouts finds no space thanks to prejudice
The school will now work out of a house that has been provided by a Christian organisation in Thrikkakara in the district.
The announcement was made at a press meet held in the district on Friday.
In the first phase, 10 community members will be accommodated in the school. The school will be self-funded for the initial three months, after which, the organization may contemplate seeking government support.
Elaborating on the name of the school, Vijayaraja Mallika said that the name "Sahaj" was chosen to emphasis the inclusiveness the community members deserve.
"I have most often come across references to our community as Hijras. By giving the name Sahaj, we want to say that our gender and sexuality is purely natural...it's quite natural to be a transgender," she said.
Vijayaraja Mallika added that the school is looking at reaching out to community members in the North East, especially because the social mobilization in the region is weak.