In a first-of-its-kind initiative in the state, the Kerala Literacy Mission has launched a literacy programme with monthly scholarship and shelter homes for transgender students.
The programme will offer a scholarship of Rs 1,250 and shelter homes in each district, from where students can attend classes, according to a Manorama report.
The programme is an extension of Kerala State Literacy Mission's (KSLM) Samanwaya, which provides free and continuing education for minority genders in the state. The programme will provide students enrolled for Samanwaya's 4th grade equivalence programme with Rs 1,000 scholarship and those enrolled for higher secondary equivalence programme with Rs 1,250.
KSLM is also set to open four district level shelter homes in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alapuzha.
Minister of Social Welfare KK Shailaja will inaugurate the first phase of this state level scholarship on June 28 in an event at Thaikkad in Thiruvananthapuram.
The programme which is reportedly the first-ever comprehensive literacy programme for transgender persons is based on KSLM's survey in 2016 called 'Survey 918' which exposed a low literacy rate and high learning curve among members of the community.
At present, 148 transgender persons are enrolled under the programme which was launched in 2016.
Speaking about the new programme within Samanwaya, KLSM director PS Sreekala told Manorama that the programme not only aims at improving literacy rates among transgender people but also to offer them certain levels of social acceptance, support and security which will help them attain a higher standard of living.
Kollam currently has the highest number of students enrolled for Samanwaya, which is 20 students for the Grade 10 equivalency course and 10 students for a higher secondary equivalency programme. Thiruvananthapuram has over 20 students, Pathanamthitta has 25 and Alapuzha has 10 enrolees.