Students for sensitivity towards 'third gender'

Students for sensitivity towards 'third gender'

Campus calling

A lot has been said and talked about the ‘third gender’ in the recent past. According to many, they do not even fall within the conventional definition of a ‘male’ or ‘female’, but ‘they’ find mention in ancient texts, have been the subject of numerous debates and more recently in the courts of the country.

Fighting for their rights, members of the LGBT community and their supporters have taken to the streets, protesting the Supreme Court judgement and calling for a sensitive treatment of their concerns, only to face disappointment at the end of the day. Worse, the discrimination and bias spills out even on college forms, where forms only mention the ‘male’ ‘female’ options while leaving out those with ‘other’ orientations. Hopefully, all this might soon change, if the students’ union at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has its way.

“We are demanding that the University administration should provide a gender neutral form for the third sex. Instead of that just ‘male’ and ‘female’ options, they should be given a third option. The forms which also insists on writing only father’s or the husband’s name, should have mother’s name option as well for those who are single child. All in all, the form needs to be re-framed in accordance with a gender neutral policy,” said Akbar Chawdhary, president, JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU).

“There are the eunuchs, gays, lesbians or the queer group who are already fighting for their rights and are going through mental trauma. If they are fighting for their rights, what is the harm in that?” asks Piyush Raj, a
student of JNU.

JNU also has a Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) which looks at all cases related to sexual harassment. The students are also insistent about increasing the number of members so that the efficiency of the committee increases. Right now the committee has only 15 members, which includes students, teachers, wardens, officers, etc.

Another important issue raised by the students is the inclusion of sanitary napkin dispensers. “This is all related to sexual health and such initiatives should be taken to promote a healthy lifestyle,” said Anubhuti Agnes Bara, vice president, JNUSU.
“This will definitely help us stay more clean and hygienic. Matters related to sexual health should be taken more seriously,” said Barkha Sharma, another student.