Why no provision on transgender attendants, high court wants to know
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday sought details from the UT administration on objections against its proposal to deploy transgenders as attendants on school buses.chandigarh Updated: Sep 19, 2015 11:26 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday sought details from the UT administration on objections against its proposal to deploy transgenders as attendants on school buses.
The high court (HC), in August, had told Punjab, Haryana and the UT administration to consider deploying transgenders on buses transporting schoolchildren. The proposal was mooted in the court during a hearing in a case regarding implementing the Safe School Vahan policy.
Hearing to the UT’s reply, the court on Friday asked the administration as to why it did not include provisions for deployment of transgenders in the recently drafted policy.
The UT counsel told the court that some school principals and parents had objected to the proposal. The counsel, however, said that they had not received any representation in this regard. Following this, the court directed the UT to file an affidavit naming all schools and transporters who have objected to the proposal.
The affidavit of the DPI could not be taken up on Friday and will be considered on September 23.
‘No one has been excluded’
As per sources, many officials had objected to including the provision regarding transgenders in the policy as they felt it wasn’t a “feasible option”.
However, State Transport Authority (STA) officials, who drafted the policy along with the education department, said they had not excluded any category.
“Nowhere does the policy states that transgenders won’t be hired. We might not have specifically mentioned them, but we haven’t excluded them either,” said STA in-charge Amit Talwar.
Parents, bus operators averse to the idea
Commenting on the proposal, School Bus Operators’ Welfare Association president Manjit Singh, said: “It isn’t a practical option. From where will we find so many transgender attendants? Many parents were averse to sending their children in buses that had transgender attendants.”
A woman, whose child studies in Class 5 at St Xavier’s School, said: “I am not comfortable with the idea. I have a daughter, so I feel having a female attendant is safer.”
Tender Heart School Principal Vikrant Suri said the gender of the attendant did not matter as long as the person had requisite qualities. “However, the parents’ opinion is of utmost importance and must be considered, ”he said.
Independent Association of Schools president HS Mamik, meanwhile, assured that there would be no disparity.