Colleges across the city and the State are gearing up to organise protests against the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2018, which was passed by the Lok Sabha last week and will be put to vote in the Rajya Sabha soon.
Queer collectives and gender cells in colleges intend to condemn the Bill on their campuses and mobilise the youth to voice their opinion against the Bill by holding demonstrations, lectures and open discussions. Transgender groups have been urging the government to either withdraw or send the Bill for a review.
Through these initiatives, these college-based groups will also be extending their support to a mass protest against the Bill, which is scheduled to be held in Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Friday.
While the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) will hold demonstrations on their Chembur campus on Friday, Kishanchand Chellaram (KC) College in Churchgate will hold awareness drives and open discussions on their premises next week. Community groups from TISS-Tuljapur and Pune University will hold various activities on their campuses to raise awareness and express solidarity with the transgender community.
Christy, a member of the Queer Collective at TISS, said, “We will be organising a public meeting to discuss the Bill. We aim to create awareness of the implications of the Bill among friends and students. It is important for the youth to be aware of the Bill for them to raise their voice against it. We are also going to burn copies of the Bill as a form of protest.”
Need for empowerment
The Gender Issues Cell of KC College has planned awareness drives and discussions. “The Bill will do more harm than good to the transgender community. What needs to be done is empowering the members and letting then be themselves, not suppressing or dictating them. There is little awareness about this on our campus, which we will try to tackle through this campaign,” said Brenda Hadinge, student head of the Gender Issues Cell.
‘Violation of rights’
Saakshie Sahay, a student of TISS, said, “This Bill is a sheer violation of human rights in the first place, and it only magnifies the problem. Not many people are aware about what the Bill is and what it will do if passed. The student community must bring this issue up on campuses. It is the need of the hour.”