Mumbai: The Tata School of Social Sciences (TISS) on Thursday announced India’s first gernder-neutral on-campus accomodation for its students.
The facility will be available for students from the upcoming academic year starting June, reported The Indian Express.
Ten twin-sharing rooms, on the ground floor of a girls’ hostel, will be allotted on a first-cum-first-serve basis to students who identify themselves as transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming students.It will be made available for students during the 2018-19 academic year, the report further added.
A circular issued by administration on Thursday asked them to avail the facility from coming session. The news has taken students with surprise, who were demanding the same.
The decision was taken in line with “the principle of inclusion and affirmation of gender diversity”.
“Self-identified transgender, nonbinary, gender non-conforming students can apply for the rooms,” read the circular.
“This is in conformity with what we believe in: inclusion. We have been having some students with a non-conforming identity since the last few years, but the hostels have always been divided between male and female students,” PK Shajahan, Dean of Student Affairs, TISS was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
An infromal students body advocating for safe space for LGBTQ and students, Queer Collective, has pointed out the need of gender-neutral hostels last year.
The students, in a general-body meeting held last year in September, had passed a resolution to create gender-neutral hostels and washrooms in the campus along with those for men and women.
The institute had introduced a major reform recenltly when they introduced a new honorifix ‘Mx’ on forms that the students fill out before their convocation.