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Punjab University introduces Scholarships for Transgender Students

With the objective to empower transgender students with education and to bring them to the main stream, College Development Council (CDC) of Punjab University on Saturday decided to introduce scholarships for them from next academic session.

“Presently, the varsity is proving scholarships to the students of PU affiliated colleges. The categories of the scholarships are means-cum-merit. sports, physically disabled, single girl child and cancer/AIDS patients,” CDC Dean Parvinder Singh was quoted as saying by a news agency.

The decision to offer scholarships to the transgender students was taken during a CDC meeting at Rajiv Gandhi College Bhawan on Saturday.

Earlier, Animal Husbandry and Agriculture Dean Dalip Kumar had raised the issue of scholarships for transgenders during a meeting, saying, “The university has a considerable number of transgender students and more might get enrolled in the 190 PU-affiliated colleges. They should be provided scholarships.”

The university had earlier this year built separate washrooms for transgender students at the Student Centre of the university.

Dhananjay Chauhan, the first transgender student who was enrolled in 2016, expressed resentment over the scholarship and said the university should have provided fee concession instead of scholarships for transgender students.

“I am unhappy with the CDC’s decision as the scholarship will not provide us much relief. PU should provide fee concession instead of scholarships as transgender students cannot afford to pay the fee,” Chauhan was quoted as saying by a news agency.

“Transgender students in PU don’t have any kind of source of income, also they have been shunned from home. To avail a scholarship, they will have to pay the fee first,” Chauhan added.

In the meeting, the CDC has also granted INR 50 lakh for 1,106 scholarships for college students. Out of total scholarships, 798 are under means-cum-merit category, 81 under sports, 62 physically disabled, 158 single child, and 7 under AIDS/cancer patient category. The scholarship amount will range from INR 3,500 to INR 12,585.

Manmath Nayak

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