Exclusive: SNDT Mulls Gender-Neutral Washrooms, Embraces LGBTQ+ Community

Exclusive: SNDT Mulls Gender-Neutral Washrooms, Embraces LGBTQ+ Community

The university’s move is expected to accelerate national discussions regarding admission of LGBTQ+ community members in other universities.

Megha ChowdhuryUpdated: Saturday, March 02, 2024, 10:31 AM IST
article-image
SNDT College | Special Arrangement

A prestigious national women's university has officially decided to open doors to people who were assigned as male at birth but identify as female, saying it's a natural decision that takes gender diversity into account.

Speaking exclusively to The Free Press Journal (FPJ),  the vice-chancellor of SNDT University,  Meera Vasudevan, shared plans to not only include gender-neutral washrooms but also to make changes to the admissions forms with a third-gender option. 

The landmark move by SNDT University is expected to accelerate national discussions regarding admissions at other universities, which currently limit enrollment to those listed as women on their family registry. Vasudevan further discussed the institution's ambitious potential of offering free education to the transgender community to make them feel more welcome. 

"Our admission forms are in the process, but we ensure that appropriate changes will be made to the forms. The third gender will be included under the category where students can mention their gender,” said Vasudevan. 

Origins of the initiative

The university has planned these initiatives after consultations with over 100 transgender women during a programme hosted by the university’s election commission to raise awareness on Nov 25, 2022.

“The event saw participation from more than 100 transgender women which led us to develop policies that cater to their requirements, particularly in the area of admissions," said Vasudevan. 

Later, in a review meeting with vice-chancellors and officials on December 2023, the state government also directed all public universities to bear their entire tuition fees, not only in university departments but affiliated colleges.

“While some of the ideas are taking shape, others are in the process and very soon the college shall have an LGBTQ-friendly campus,” Vasudevan added. 

While most students aren’t aware of this development, few who know are upbeat about the upcoming changes and happy that the institute is trying to embrace inclusivity. 

A 28-year-old trans-woman Simran—who goes by first name only—from Mumbai appreciated these plans saying, “It is a brilliant move; using washrooms which are not assigned to you, both before transition and after transition, is very difficult. We are moving towards a progressive India and such initiatives create a beautiful impact. We feel included that we are counted within the system and that the system is thinking about you,” she says. 

Simran noted that Maharashtra lags behind states like Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and even Chhattisgarh, which have implemented policies.

RECENT STORIES

UPSC Candidate Ritu Yadav From Rajasthan Thought She Cracked The Exam, Until She Realised She...

UPSC Candidate Ritu Yadav From Rajasthan Thought She Cracked The Exam, Until She Realised She...

MAH CET Extends Registration Deadline For BCA, BBA, BMS, BBM CET; Check For More

MAH CET Extends Registration Deadline For BCA, BBA, BMS, BBM CET; Check For More

NTA Extends SWAYAM January Session Registration Dates, Revises Exam Schedule

NTA Extends SWAYAM January Session Registration Dates, Revises Exam Schedule

CM Yogi Adityanath Congratulates UPMSP Students On Successful UP Board Results, Calls Them Golden...

CM Yogi Adityanath Congratulates UPMSP Students On Successful UP Board Results, Calls Them Golden...

Death Of 20-year-old Indian Student In The US Linked To The Blue Whale Challenge Raises Fresh...

Death Of 20-year-old Indian Student In The US Linked To The Blue Whale Challenge Raises Fresh...