Bengal: 600 students register in 3rd gender category for higher secondary course
Kolkata, Nov 6 Around 600 students have enrolled in the third-gender category during registration for the higher secondary course in West Bengal, president of West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Examination (WBCHSE) Chiranjib Bhattacharya said on Friday.
"The registration for the 11th standard for the current academic year had some first of its kind. This is the first time that the registration was done online. Secondly, in that online registration process, three gender options of male, female and third gender were introduced against the earlier two options of just male and female," Bhattacharya told IANS.
According to him, the enrolment in the third- gender category was mainly for the arts stream.
"The enrollment for the arts stream under this gender category is roughly around 480 and the remaining are in the science and commerce category," he confirmed.
He also said that that although he is yet to get the exact break-up of the geographical locations of the applicants on this count, his hunch is that majority of the applications were from Kolkata or its adjoining districts, since the awareness and sensitization levels on this count is higher in these areas compared to the remote districts.
Speaking on the occasion, the WBCHSE president also complemented the gesture of the educational institutions through which registration enrolment applications were forwarded.
"This year, instead of direct enrolment by the students, the counsel introduced the system of registration through the educational institutions. So, when these educational institutions have forwarded these applications, it can be well assumed that they have necessary infrastructure like separate toilets for the third-gender people," he added.
When contacted, transgender rights activist and former member of the West Bengal Transgender Development Board Ranjita Sinha said that this is surely a positive development provided the right and deserving people gets the facility of this third- gender option.
"Let it not be just a gimmick for gaining political mileage, as it happened before with the community since the development board was formed where promises remained unfulfilled. Just for example the promises for separate healthcare facilities are yet to be fulfilled. It is also to be seen that genuine third gender community candidates are enrolled in the process," Sinha said.