The Left Democratic Front government in Kerala has embarked on a continuing education programme for the transgender community as part of its efforts to bring it to the forefront of society and ensure equal opportunities.
Incidentally, Kerala was the first state in the country which unveiled the Transgender Policy to end the societal stigma towards the sexual minority group and ensure them non-discriminatory treatment and justice.
As part of the education programme, a 10-day-long state-wide survey was launched here on Tuesday to take the head count of the TGs across Kerala.
P S Sreekala, director of state Literacy Mission which conducts the education programme and survey, said it is a first of its kind venture being carried out for the minority group in the country.
"The Literacy Mission already has its equivalency course and other programmes. We are planning to bring the TGs under this programme," she told PTI.
"As an initial step, we have launched a state-wide TG survey. With its completion, we will get a clear picture about the total number of people belonging to the minority group in each district," she said.
The literacy programme is likely to be launched by next month after getting the survey report.
Special classes would be conducted in each district for TGs with the support of the civic authorities and continuing education centres.
"The existing syllabus in the programme will be followed in the case of TGs also," Sreekala said adding the Mission has plans to bring other marginalised sections like migrant workers and coastal people also under its continuing education programme.
State Education Minister C Raveendranath said the core objective of the literacy programme is to create a society without marginalised sections.
Kerala has witnessed a series of TG-friendly initiatives in recent times to bring the minority group into mainstream of the society.
Considering their plight, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd had recently decided to extend job opportunities to TGs in housekeeping, customer relations and crowd management.
State-poverty eradication mission Kudumbashree formed an exclusive neighbourhood group of TGs to empower them. Besides this, the state Central Library here had given membership to transgender activist Sheethal Shyam last year.
The stage government had formulated the TG policy in 2015 to enforce the constitutional rights of transgenders taking into account a Supreme Court judgement (2014) in this regard.
The policy also ensured TGs equal access to social and economic opportunities, resources and services, right to equal treatment under the law, right to live life without violence and equitable right in all decision making bodies.