India's First: Transgender gets Admission into Nursing Course
Tamilselvi is going to become India’s First ever third gender medical student to pursue a Diploma in Nursing.
Chennai: A revolution, hopefully changing the picture of nursing admissions across the country has taken momentum following the vigorous effort of a 22-year-old transgender, S Tamilselvi, who had been fighting against the medical admissions system for denying her admission in nursing course stating that this course is applicable for females only.
This battle of this inspirational medical aspirant has finally born fruit making her all set to become India’s First ever third gender medical student to pursue a Diploma in Nursing.
According to The Hindu, on 29th October, based on the recommendation of State Human Rights Commission member D Jayachandran, the transgender nursing student has been was issued an allotment order by the Secretary of the Selection Committee administering nursing admissions.
Medical Dialogues had reported about the case of the nursing course candidate, who, after a month of joining, was ousted from a private nursing college at Vellore since the college offers admissions to female candidates alone for the diploma in nursing.
Tamilselvi, born as a male, realized her preferred sexual orientations later. It was then that she decided to change her name. Having passed her plus two board with 757 marks in 2013, she underwent a sex reassignment surgery in 2015. Having paid Rs. 30,000 from her savings with immense difficulty, this admirable young girl got herself admitted to Arun School of Nursing, Vellore last year.
However, she was jolted into reality when her admission was cancelled after the Directorate told the college “only female candidates are eligible to apply for Diploma in Nursing courses.”
According to a DME official, the Tamil Nadu Nursing Council has to register all students joining nursing courses. The registration form has no separate column for transgender. Since the columns speak of male and female sexes for students, the college was asked to clarify.
The student, who met Health Secretary, J Radhakrishnan and Director of Medical Education, A Edwin Joe, got relief and was encouraged to continue the nursing course under the female category. However, that was not to last long as the Directorate again intervened.
Disappointed with the inaction, the nursing student moved the Madras High Court, which directed the state to admit her to the course. But, she was again denied admission.
Pointing to the 2014 order of the Supreme Court, which directed the Central and State Governments to extend reservation to transgenders in education and employment, the complainant stated that the denial of admission amounted to the human rights violation.
The SHRC pointed out that the state had not set aside a quota for transgenders but only made a concession of eligibility for MBC quota. “The state neglecting transgender category by not providing a separate reservation amounts to a violation of human rights of the complainant.”
Recently, the SHRC member D Jayachandran directed the government to allot a seat to S Tamilselvi as a special case in the Diploma in Nursing course conducted by the Government Vellore Medical College for the academic year 2018-19.
In view of the said recommendation, she has been allotted a medical seat under Women (MBC) category in the nursing course.
Confirming the same to Hindu, Director of Medical Education A. Edwin Joe said, “She has been handed over the allotment order on the condition that it would be subjected to the judgment of the Madras High Court on a petition filed by her. She is the first transperson to be admitted into a nursing programme in the State. We are hoping this would encourage more transpersons to apply.”
“Tamilselvi’s admission is under Women (MBC) category since the Social Welfare Department had specified transpersons as eligible only under the mentioned category,” he added.
Sharing her tough battle, the nursing student pointing out the dilemma that a transgender person faces in the career aspect and stated, “It has been my childhood dream to become a nurse, but was it my fault to be a transperson? Whether officials are not aware of the policy decision of the government or the lack of willingness, but we are still fighting for our rights!”