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Delhi University’s Kalindi College Constitutes Transgender Cell to Sensitize Students

In a first for a college under Delhi University, Kalindi College has constituted a transgender cell to educate its students about issues related to the community and build awareness. Naina Hasija, principal of the college, said the idea to have such a cell was floated by a faculty member, Prof Anita Tagore. “Initially, I was scared about society. But, we thought the society is slowly accepting them and we must educate our students about the community,” she told PTI.

What bolstered Hasija’s decision to form the transgender cell was a visit by a colleague. “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 Rajput and the speaker,” Hasija said.

More than 300 students have registered for the cell and several teachers, too, have joined, she said. The college is conducting a five-day webinar, during which people from the transgender community speak about their lives and struggles.

“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,” Hasija said.

The college has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nazariya, a not-for-profit queer feminist resource group and plans to hold counselling sessions for students. “Representatives from Nazariya will counsel students so that if they want to come out to their parents about their gender identity and so on, they could talk,” Hasija said.

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