Transgender student’s long wait for hostel room at Punjab University continues

With no dedicated accommodation facility available for transgender students, Punjab University is in a difficult position to provide hostel accommodation for any of these postgraduate students.

Yashika, who is pursuing a master’s degree at the university’s Center for Human Rights and Duties, is on the merit list of students eligible for a hostel room.

But in the absence of a policy regarding the allocation of hostels to transgender students, she was not given a room. On a temporary basis, she was accommodated at Rajiv Gandhi College Bhawan, a guesthouse located on the university’s Sector 14 campus.

“I have been clamoring for a hostel room since October last year. Even though my classes have resumed in physical mode, I have no permanent accommodation despite being on the merit list,” Yashika said.

She had even raised the matter with the Chandigarh administration last year, following which the university informed the Director of Social Welfare, Women and Child Development, UT, that she had proposed the constitution of a committee on this matter. But months later, no final appeal has been taken when college ends.

Notably, the Center for Human Rights and Duties had previously assigned Yashika the solitary hostel seat reserved for an SC woman, because she met the reservation criteria.

Through a letter earlier this week, the center had asked the Office of the Dean of Student Welfare (DSW) that the SC Women’s Category seat be awarded to Yashika, who identifies as a trans woman. , in accordance with the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

The center had also asked the DSW office to review the matter in light of the UGC Circular (February 2, 2015) as well as Section 3(A) of the Act, which provides that no person or establishment shall must discriminate against a transgender person through denial. , interruption or unfair treatment in educational institutions and their services.

The center’s Joint Academic and Administrative Committee (JAAC) had also recommended that since there was no separate accommodation for transgender people, any vacant faculty house or section of the international hostel could be considered. for allocation as a temporary arrangement.

When contacted, DSW Jagtar Singh said: “The matter is being actively considered and a decision will be made very soon.”


    Dar Ovais is a Chandigarh-based correspondent for the Hindustan Times covering higher education.
    …See the details

Linda G. Ibarra