KOCHI: The country’s first residential school for transgenders which was started at Thrikkakara, Kochi, last year has failed to serve its purpose. Not a single student has turned up for registration and the building has been converted into a hostel for transgender employees of Kochi Metro and other institutions. The school initiated by Sahaj International of Vijayaraja Mallika, a transgender activist, was inaugurated by activist Kalki Subrahmaniam in December 2016.
The plan was to initially accommodate 10 transgenders, who will study under the National Open School system. They were to be provided education and examination equivalent to Class X and XII. Training for soft skills, stitching, organic farming, oration and personality development were also mooted. “The members of the community want jobs and not education. Though we are getting opportunity for education, we are neglected while applying for jobs. Hence, job is more important for us,” said an inmate of the hostel, which is now run by CMC nuns.
“We have given them a place to stay as the objective of residential school didn’t materialise. With no transgender student registered, the building never functioned as a school,” said the hostel warden. Kalki Subramaniam blamed the inefficiency of the management of the institution for its closure. “Though the concept and vision were novel, there was lack of planning. The founder was not open to get the help of other transgenders to make the project a success,” said Kalki.
“It was a dream which got shattered as there was only vision and no action,” Kalki added. Regarding the complaints over not getting job opportunities, Kalki said that a lot of small, middle and corporate enterprises were willing to recruit transgenders. “But the third gender community should also try to adapt to the changes. They should stop complaining and start contributing to society,” Kalki said....