Chennai: A revolution of sorts would take place if Health Secretary, J Radhakrishnan succeeds in his efforts to help S. Tamilselvi, born transgender resume her diploma in nursing at a private nursing college at Vellore, from where she was ousted after a month of joining. The college offers admissions to female candidates alone for the diploma in nursing.
Despite the health secretary’s directive to S. Tamilselvi to resume study under the female category, two days after rejoining, this transgender student was thrown out as the college received a call from the Directorate of Medical Education saying that the institution was open to female candidates alone.
Tamilselvi born as a male, realized her 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.”
“I was so happy to wear nurse uniform, my college and classmates accepted me. I thought my sufferings finally came to an end. But, that dream was short-lived. After one month of admission, the college received a letter from the selection committee, Directorate of Medical Education, saying only female candidates are eligible to apply for the Diploma in Nursing course.”
In the letter dated November 17, 2017, written by the DME and seen by the Express it was made clear, “No transgender has been admitted for a diploma in nursing for 2017-2018. Only female candidates are eligible to apply for a diploma in nursing”.
According to a Directorate of Medical Education 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.
Tamilselvi who met Health Secretary, J Radhakrishnan and Director of Medical Education, A Edwin Joe was encouraged to continue under the female category. However, that was not to last long as the Directorate again intervened, she told the Express.
Radhakrishan said, “The earlier policy of restricting admission only to the women nurses itself is being reviewed by the government.” Dr Edwin Joe said,”The Tamil Nadu Nursing Council has asked the college for clarification over not having a separate column for transgenders. Soon, we will get the reply. We are also in the process of helping her.”