The first transgender school in the country was opened in Kerala on Friday. Writer and transgender activist Kalki Subramaniam inaugurated the school Sahaj International at Thrikkakara in Keralaâ€™s Ernakulam district.
The institution, which aims to provide equal opportunities to transgenders who have dropped out from schools, stated that those who enrolled, would be given training and opportunities to write 10th and 12th standard exams. The learning centre would work in collaboration with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
"This is a historic day. We have started a learning centre for transgenders. Kerala being the pioneer, other states can also follow. Education is the most powerful tool to enlighten the under privileged,â€ť Kalki said in her speech.
She said that since family and society rejects transgenders, they are forced to beg and do sex works on the streets. She urged that this situation had to change.
â€śEducation can show the way for us,â€ť she added.
The initiative was started by Ernakulam-based activist and family counselor Vijayaraja Mallika along with a few other activists. The school will be headed by six transgenders under a foundation.
Though the project had been in the pipeline for a few months now, The News Minute had earlier reported on the difficulty of the organisers not being able to find a house in the city for the school to work out of, due to prejudice against the community.
The school will now work out of a house that has been provided by a Christian organisation in Thrikkakara in the district.
In the first phase, 10 community members will be accommodated in the school. The school will be self-funded for the first three months, after which the organization may contemplate seeking government support.