Activists lament as Transgenders fail to encash IGNOU’s edu scheme

Pranita Roy
Friday, 1 February 2019

“Even other educational institutes like Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has only one transgender studying in it. The community members seem to have now adjusted themselves to the traditional sources of income and are still rigid towards education. The situation can be improved for future generation though,” added Khire.

Pune: The enthusiasm about pursuing higher education still seems to be lacking in the transgender community, as is evident by their reluctance to take advantage of special educational schemes announced for them. 

Activists working for transgenders’ rights are lamenting the fact that transgenders are not coming forward to use these schemes for their own good. 

A recent example is of zero response to the facility of free education provided by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to transgender community in the city. Even after repeated extension of dates of admission, not a single application form has been submitted till date.

IGNOU has now extended date for application of admission forms till February 11.  

Bindumadhav Khire, Founder of Samapathik Trust who had been closely working with IGNOU to bring students from the transgender community in the education system, expressed disappointment over no takers for education facility provided by the university.
 
“It was a very good initiative taken by the educational centre for transgender community to come forward and seek education. However, I don’t see any improvement in enrolment situation in coming years as well,” said Khire. 

“The community seems to be enthusiastic when such schemes are introduced for them, but when it comes to actual enrolment or implementation of these schemes, hardly anyone takes it up. An evident result is the current scenerio,” Khire added.

“Even other educational institutes like Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has only one transgender studying in it. The community members seem to have now adjusted themselves to the traditional sources of income and are still rigid towards education. The situation can be improved for future generation though,” added Khire.

Meanwhile, officials from IGNOU, Delhi have stated that a review committee of university is presently analysing the number of enrolments under the given scheme, as to how it could be continued further. However, the activists fear that considering the present situation, a good scheme introduced in interest of the community, may fail.

Special scheme

  • The scheme to exempt fee for transgenders was launched in June 2017 by IGNOU.
  • Since the launch, only one transgender has enroled in the university from Pune so far, as Sakal Times had reported in September 2017.    

Possible remedy?
Activist Bindumadhav Khire suggested that programmes or provisions should be inculcated to prevent dropout of transgender students from schools. “If efforts are made in identifying transgender students at school level i.e. between Std VIII to Std X when there are higher chances of dropouts and counsel them by school administrations, then it is possible that the present situation will not be repeated in future,” said Khire.

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