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Third gender option in TN college forms May 18, 2008

Posted by nitinkarani in Times of India, Transgender.
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Times of India: http://tinyurl.com/5ld8st

14 May 2008, 0622 hrs IST,Radha Venkatesan,TNN

COIMBATORE: After providing ration cards and welfare board for transsexuals, the Tamil Nadu government, for the first time in the country, has officially opened the Arts and Science colleges to the third gender.

In a unique concession for them, all the government and aided colleges will admit them as “transgenders” and they will share 30% of the seats reserved for women.

The State Directorate of Collegiate Education in its newly-designed application form for the degree courses in all its colleges has included the transgender as a separate category. Under the column “sex”, the application forms now provide three options: Male, Female and Transgender.

Till now, transsexuals managed to enrol in colleges only as males, though it went against their gender preferences. However, this year, the transsexuals can join any Arts and Science colleges, be it co-educational or men’s or women’s colleges, as a “thiru nangai” (Tamil name for transgender).

“Transgenders can join any Arts and Science college retaining their status as transgenders,” the Joint Director of Collegiate Education, Coimbatore region, Dr D Rudrappan told TOI.

Government colleges here say they would admit any transgender who applies regardless of their merit. “We will give them special consideration and admit them regardless of the marks they have scored in the class XII exam,” said N Yesodha Devi, principal of PSGR Krishnammal College for Women.

For transsexuals like Divya Krishnan, who have been waiting for this “special recognition” for a few years now, it is a dream come true. “I have been wanting to join the teacher training institute for the past two years. But my application has been rejected consistently. This year, I will get admission.”

A diploma holder in Electronics and Communication, Malavika, said she was forced to study in a men’s college, where she was “teased and harassed” by the college boys.

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