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Trans students asked if they’re ‘sure’ about their gender when enrolling at University

Transgender students at Delhi University are being asked if they are “sure” about their gender identity during enrolment.

Since the University began to recognise trans students in 2015, applications have risen drastically.

However, management fear that this increase of potential trans students may not be reflected in enrolment.

They believe this because trans students are not attending a series of counselling sessions that are held before the semester begins.

However, trans activist and students have said that they have been deterred from enrolling because of the lack of appropriate facilities and policies.

One student, Ram, said that although the university offers places for trans students, it only does so because it is compulsory.

“Providing ‘others’ option in form is a compulsion for them, otherwise they only think that we transgenders are best suited to beg.

“There is no space for people like us in the system,” they added.

A different student who wished to remain anonymous was accepted into the University but decided that they did not wish to go there after they were asked invasive questions.

They said: “I wanted to join regular college, but when I reached there, I was left disheartened.

“Those who were handling the help desk asked me questions such as, ‘are you sure you are a transgender’ and ‘when did you realise about your sexuality’.”

“Who can listen to the unbearable comments of fellow students every day,” they added.

Deputy Dean of Student Welfare, Gurpreet Singh Tuteja said that they University was trying hard to accommodate trans students.

“Despite our constant efforts to create awareness about transgender students on the campus, they hesitate to attend the counselling session,” Tuteja said.

Delhi University only began to offer spaces to trans students after the Indian Supreme Court ordered the University Grants Commission to construct frameworks to support transgender students.

Despite offering spaces, Delhi University has not built on their policies for promoting education to potential trans students.

A registrar for the University, Tarun Das, added that they were trying to promote equality between all students and so they would not establish a policy for trans students.

“We treat all students equally by providing them facilities such as books, library, classroom and among others. There is no separate policy for transgender students at the university level,” Das said.

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