In a first, Delhi University's Kalindi College has started a transgender cell to create awareness about the community among the students
Delhi’s Kalindi College has taken a novel initiative as the institution has constituted a transgender cell. A first for a college of Delhi University, this cell will create awareness and educate students about the community and the issues related to them.
Speaking to the media, the college Principal, Naina Hasija, said the idea for the cell was mooted by Prof. Anita Tagore, a faculty member. She said: "Initially, I was scared about society. But, we thought the society is slowly accepting them and we must educate our students about the community.”
Hasija went on to recall that it was a visit by a colleague from another institution that bolstered her decision. "Prof Namita Rajput, former Principal of Sri Aurobindo College (Evening) had come to our college for a talk. She told me that she had invited a transgender person for a talk and the teachers were against the event. But, the person's story left almost 80 per cent of the teachers teary-eyed. They later apologised to [Professor] Rajput and the speaker.”
So far more than 300 students and several teachers have become part of this cell.
Further, a five-day webinar will be conducted by the college during which members of the transgender community will share the stories about their struggles and lives.
Elaborating on the change in mindset required among the people, Hasija said: "Whenever we think of them, there are only two things that come to mind– that they come to dance at weddings and that they are involved in begging. There is a need to educate students. We have 4,000 women students and 200 staffers. These are substantial numbers and we are in a position to educate them.”
The college has tied-up with Nazariya, a not-for-profit queer feminist resource group and plans to hold counselling sessions for students.