Lack of amenities, general apathy keep transgender students out of DU
Despite the five-fold increase this year in the number of applications by transgender candidates as compared to the previous year, Delhi University still fails to provide proper amenities to these students.
The University had received 15 applications from transgender students last year; this year, the number reached 86.
However, of the last year's 15 students, only two enrolled in the University.
Unfortunately, these students too left their courses in the middle of the session.
Taking cognisance of the situation of transgender students in universities, DU had around three years ago included the 'Other' category in the Gender section of its admission forms.
However, despite the Supreme Court's order, the varsity's colleges have failed to provide basic amenities, such as separate toilets, for transgender students.
"Most of the principals of Delhi University colleges do not want to take in these students as they feel they will ruin the environment of the college," said an official of the University, on the condition of anonymity.
In sharp contrast, Chandigarh's Panjab University has started constructing separate toilets for transgender students.
Meanwhile, Jawaharlal Nehru University has the provision of giving five marks to transgender candidates under its deprivation point system to ensure their admission into the University. However, Delhi University has no such provision.
In accordance with the apex court's August 2015 order, the University Grants Commission had asked all central universities to form an expert committee and equal opportunity cell to address issues related to transgender students in every college.
Yet, many varsities are yet to adopt these measures.
"Providing 'others' option in the admission form is a compulsion for them, otherwise they only think that we transgenders are best suited for begging. There is no space for people like us in the system," said a transgender student, who did not wish to be named.
When asked about the provision in their admission policy for transgenders, DU Registrar Tarun Das said: "We treat all students equally by providing them facilities such as books, library, and classrooms and among others. There is no separate policy for transgender students at the University."