Kerala extends education scholarship, wedding grant for transgenders
With an aim to bring the transgender community into the forefront of society, the Left government in Kerala has announced a slew of programmes, including extension of scholarship for third gender students and financial aid for legally married transcouples.
Announcing the initiatives on Tuesday, Minister for Social Justice K K Shylaja said the Social Justice Department has sanctioned Rs six lakh for the scholarship of the marginalised group students in the current financial year.
The scholarship scheme is targeted at the trans students, studying from seventh standard to colleges in the government, aided and self-financing educational institutions.
“It is part of the drive to bring the marginalised and generally isolated transgender community into the mainstream of society,” the minister said in a statement.
Under the scheme, Rs 1000 per month would be given to each third gender student studying in Class 7 to Class 10 for a period of 10 months.
The scholarship would be Rs 1,500 per month for transgender students studying in higher secondary and Rs 2,000 per month for those pursuing diploma, degree, professional and post-graduate courses for a 10 months, the minister explained.
As an educationally backward group, there was need for giving more care and consideration for transgender community members,the minister said detailing the circumstances that prompted the government to launch such a scheme.
Besides this, a recent survey had found that 58 per cent of transgender students drop out of educational institutions in the state without being able to complete even basic education, the minister added.
The Department also decided to extend Rs 30,000 financial aid for trans couples who enter into wedlock legally, in the current financial year also.
“A total of Rs three lakh has been sanctioned for the same.
Through this, Rs 30,000 each can be given to 10 trans couples,” she said, adding that the scheme was aimed at helping trans people build up a social life through marriages.
Applications for the grant can be submitted six months after the marriage and up to one year, the minister added.
Incidentally, Kerala was the first state in the country which unveiled the Transgender Policy to end the societal stigma towards the sexual minority group and ensure them non- discriminatory treatment and justice.