It was a moment of PRIDE for the queer community when University of Delhi decided to acknowledge the existence of transgender students by including the “others” option under gender column in the admission forms.However, as it turned out,there have been PRACTICALLY ZERO ADMISSIONS under the category.Although DU officials are unable to pin point the reason, the “others” have a story to tell.
In an interview, the well known activist Abhina Aher told “even though Delhi University has a queer campus, members of the community are afraid of the experiences. There have been multiple instances where one has faced discrimination on campus itself. While on a policy level, DU has included the ‘other’ category, there is a lack of sensitivity on the administration level.Often lack of a grievance cell makes matters worse.”
QUESTIONS THAT AREN’T WELCOMING/WELCOMED
Ms. Aher further said “aspirants are asked uncomfortable questions by the staff”.If indeed DU wants to make an inclusive campus, why are they not hiring someone from our community at the administration level so that the aspirants are made to feel welcome.”
Rihana Yadav, a B.A. Programme student at the School of Open Learning under DU was reported as saying, “The biggest problem we face is related to our names. Despite submitting relevant documents, the administration continues to categorise us under our previous gender.Discrimination on campus is so widespread that many aspirants make other people submit the forms and feel comfortable with distance learning to avoid the insensitivity that they are subjected to on a daily basis.” Basing the argument upon her experience, she gives us a possible reason for the drop of admission applications under the “others” category from 83 last year to 29 this year.
THE OFFICIAL’S STATEMENT
Gurpreet Singh Tuteja, Deputy Dean Students’ Welfare of DU, in an interview was reported as saying, “While every year we see a number of registrations in the ‘other’ category, there is a lack of admissions under the category. It is difficult to ascertain the reason because often we see aspirants make an error while filling the forms”
For more on the issue,stay tuned.