India has opened its first school to provide free education for trans people, with over 25 students having already joined Kinnar Vidyalaya. According to local news outlet, the Hindustan Times, the school is operated by the nonprofit Shri Mahashakti Charitable Trust, and is located in the town of Palghar. An inauguration ceremony was held last week in honour of the school’s opening.
Rekha Tripathi, founder of the Charitable Trust, said she believes everyone should have access to equal opportunities regardless of gender identity, adding: “A few years back, a transgender person explained to me that several people from this community were facing problems in getting jobs as they did not have access to even basic education. Social stigma paired with poor economic conditions have contributed to this issue.”
Earlier this year, India’s neighbouring country, Pakistan, opened its first trans-inclusive school. It was set up by 34-year-old trans woman Rani Khan, who used her life savings to do so. Bangladesh also opened a school for its transgender citizens in late 2020. It aims to tackle illiteracy and therefore unemployment among the trans community.