Five days ago, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand witnessed its first Pride Parade. Following the Pride Parade by the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community on April 7, a steel city-based social outfit has formed a committee to spread awareness on LGBTQ rights. The emphasis, however appears more to be on transgender rights, but it is a start, say observers.
“People belonging to the third gender often face a number of challenges in their daily lives. So we have formed a committee to spread awareness among students about LGBTQ,” said Sharan.
The core committee consists of principal of The Graduate School and College and Women, Usha Shukla; director of Kerala Public School, Sharat Chandran; principal of Narbheram Hansraj English School Paramita Roy Chaudhury; principal of DBMS English School, Rajani Shekhar; principal of Tarapore School Agrico, Amy Billimoria; Shalini Kujur from Urban Services, Tata Steel, transgender persons Dolly and Razia and LGBTQ activist Amarjeet Singh.
“The acceptance of third gender in our society is the biggest challenge. As an educational institution, it should be our responsibility to make students aware LGBTQ and their rights,” said Shukla.
Basera Empowerment (OPC) Pvt Ltd, a city base organisation has initiated Sammaan, a dedicated sensitisation programme on third gender in society. A committee has been formed comprising corporate officials, academicians, NGO activists and third genders to initiate a sensitisation campaign.
A press meet in this regard was organised at the Graduate School College for Women in Sakchi where director of Basera and chairperson of Sammaan, Chandra Sharan along with others spoke about their plan and programmes.
“We have found that the third gender face a number of challenges in their day to life and their biggest question is their acceptance. So to create awareness in community, we have formed a committee who would spread awareness and disemminate proper information about the same among students,” said Sharan.
The core committee consists of SharatChandran, director of Kerala Public School,; principals of Narbheram Hansraj English School Paramita Roy Chaudhury; principal of DBMS English School, RajaniShekhar; principal of Tarapore School Agrico, Amy Billimoria among academicians and principal of Graduate School and College and Women, Usha Shukla;. ShaliniKujur from Urban Services, Tata Steel and TGs Dolly and Razia and gay activist Amarjeet Singh are also part.
“But first the educators must be educated. In the curriculum for teacher’s training, a module on transgenders should be included. Teachers and administrative bodies in schools and universities need to be sensitized about the third gender. The government should make provisions that enables education for transgenders.”
He says job reservation for transgenders is not an issue as of now. “We need education, first. The literacy rate of transgenders is very low in the country. We face a lot of harassment from the police. There are no awareness programmes at police academics on how to treat transgenders. When all sections of society are sensitized to transgenders, the violence against the third community will be reduced greatly,” the member said.