Trans­gen­der stu­dent her­alds change

Cre­ates his­tory by be­com­ing the first in Malappuram to study on a col­lege cam­pus

The Hindu - - SOUTH - Ab­dul Latheef Naha

Riya Isha walked into the Malappuram Gov­ern­ment Col­lege cam­pus to an en­thu­si­as­tic and colour­ful wel­come on Satur­day.

Her en­try cre­ated his­tory of sorts. She be­came the first transwoman in the district to study in a col­lege.

The stu­dents’ union, led by the Mus­lim Stu­dents Fed­er­a­tion (MSF), gave Ms. Isha a wel­come that no stu­dent at the Malappuram Gov­ern­ment Col­lege has got so far.

They gave her gifts and books, and took her through the cor­ri­dors of the col­lege to her B.A. (Eco­nomics) class­room.

“I was thrilled by the re­cep­tion I got from the stu­dents on the cam­pus. No trans­gen­der has stepped on to a higher ed­u­ca­tion cam­pus in this part of Ker­ala so far. I wanted to not only break that bar­rier, but also to set a model for oth­ers to em­u­late,” Ms. Isha told

The Hindu.

Ms. Isha’s en­try to the cam­pus stood out as she joined the Cali­cut Univer­sity’s un­der­grad­u­ate pro­gramme af­ter some dealy. She had got the au­thor­i­ties, in­clud­ing District Col­lec­tor Amit Meena and Vice-Chan­cel­lor K. Mo­hammed Basheer, to make spe­cial in­ter­ven­tion in her favour.

Larger mes­sage

The new en­trant did not hide her ex­cite­ment at the friendly treat­ment she got. “I am touched by their ges­ture. I am happy peo­ple’s at­ti­tude to­wards us is slowly chang­ing,” Ms. Isha said.

Stu­dents union chair­man Sham­seerul Haq said they had a larger mes­sage to send home by ac­cord­ing a mem­o­rable wel­come to Ms. Isha. “We wanted to un­der­score the im­por­tance of equal­ity among stu­dents. We wanted to high­light that there should be no dis­crim­i­na­tion of any sorts against transwomen in our so­ci­ety.”

Mem­o­rable en­try: Stu­dents wel­com­ing trans­gen­der Riya Isha at Gov­ern­ment Col­lege, Malappuram, on Satur­day.

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