For strategic reasons, India’s first school for transgender school dropouts will accept not only students who are transgender, but also applicants from other rejected minorities.
In Kochi, southern India, officials of Sahaj International School, the nation’s first school for transgender school dropouts, have announced that the school will accept cisgender [non-transgender] students from marginalized castes and religions.
Trans activist and school head Vijayraja Mallika said that to obtain societal acceptance transgender students cannot work in isolation. To change society’s rejection of both trans and other minorities, “we need to work in tandem,” Mallika stated.
Mallika described the school as “a centre for the reintegration [and education] of school dropout transgenders. It is a community space that provides tuition and helps with life-skill education.”
Describing the new 10-student educational institution as “a school for transgender children” is inaccurate, Mallika told Catch News. “There’s nothing like that.”
Preferrably, a class of 10 students would include “three post-operated male-to-female transgenders, one female-to-male transgender, one intersex, one migrant from northeast from Meghalaya, Assam or Tripura where they don’t have a specified ‘hijra’ community,” Mallika stated. In India, the term “hijra” is applied to people who identify as neither male nor female.
Statistics for Kerala state, where Kochi is located, show the great need for a school like Sahaj International, Mallika stated: “In Kerala, as per a survey, there are 25,000 transgenders. Around 57% of them couldn’t complete their education.”
This article includes information from UNAIDS’s Equal Eyes recap of the world’s LGBTI news and the following related article from Catch News.
- All you need to know about Kochi’s unique model school for transgender dropouts (December 2016, Catch News)