Maharashtra – Kids of transgenders, sex workers don’t need father’s name for school admissions #Goodnews


, TNN | Jun 4, 2013,

MUMBAI: Transgenders and those in the flesh trade will find it easier to educate their children. In order to make the admission process hassle-free for kids from such sections of the society, the state government has instructed schools not to insist on father’s name and address proof for such children during school admissions under the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Last week, a government resolution to this effect was issued by the school education department.

“Under the RTE Act, it is mandatory for all private educational institutes to give admission to the children of sex workers and transgenders as these sections of society are also included in the mandatory 25% reservation for the poor and backward class children,” said a senior government official.

School education minister Rajendra Darda said, “Every one in society has the right to get education. The education department is committed to the effective implementation of the RTE. Accordingly, the GR has been issued by the department for the marginalized sections of society.”

Seema Sayyed, manager, Aastha Parivar, a federation of sex workers working in Mumbai and Thane, welcomed the government’s initiative. “Sex workers don’t get the benefit of any government scheme as in most of the cases, they do not have any address proof. Now with the DF government issuing a GR, which categorically states that schools should not insist on father’s name and address proof, it will benefit a large number of our community members,” Seema Sayyed added.

However, gay rights activist Ashok Row Kavi said that by issuing the GR, the government’s responsibility does not end. “The administration will have to ensure that kids from these sections of society get proper treatment in educational institutes,” Kavi added.

 

What the numbers didn’t tell – Shakuntala Devi


Priya M Menon | April 27, 2013, Times Crest

 

Long before homosexuality entered drawing room conversations, math wizard Shakuntala Devi had written a book on the subject.

She was known as the ‘human computer’ for her ability to solve complex arithmetic problems mentally. But few people know that mathematics wizard Shakuntala Devi was also one of the earliest allies of the queer community.

In 1977, the year that she calculated the 23rd root of a 201-digit number mentally, she also published The World of Homosexuals. While the book – probably the first Indian book on homosexuality in modern times – is now out of print, the Indian gay community still considers it to be a work that was ahead of its time.

Few references to the book were made in the obituaries written soon after Shakuntala Devi’s demise recently, but gay organisations paid tribute to her in their blogs. “The book, consisting of interviews with homosexual men in India and a same-sex couple in Canada, is remarkable for its progressive approach to the subject, ” writes L Ramakrishnan of SAATHI, a nongovernmental organisation, on Orinam. net, a bilingual website with information on alternate sexualities.

Ramakrishnan’s aim is to introduce the younger generation to a work that advocated social acceptance and decriminalisation of homosexuality in an age when few dared to talk about sex. “What is remarkable about the book is that she approached the community with empathy rather than condescension and sympathy, ” he says.

What made the mathematician delve into such a complex subject? It is not easy to trace people who knew the math genius and what prompted her to write the book. But the information one gathers from the few who knew her, reveals the picture of a sad, lonely but courageous woman, who decided to understand what homosexuality was after her husband came out.

Twenty-four years after her book was published, Shakuntala Devi was interviewed by Vismita Gupta-Smith for her documentary For Straights Only. In it, Shakuntala Devi talks about her marriage to a gay man. Though the couple broke up, instead of reacting in a homophobic manner, she said she felt the need to research the subject. She interviewed a number of people across the country, and this research resulted in The World of Homosexuals.

“When I was researching my documentary, I was told about Shakuntala Devi’s book, ” says Gupta-Smith, who was inspired to make her documentary about the prejudices faced by South Asian queer community after her brother came out. She met Shakuntala Devi in Atlanta in 2000. “She was very frank, progressive and compassionate as well as a scientific-minded, logical person, ” says Gupta-Smith. “What struck me as a filmmaker was that though she had been through a sad, emotional experience, she could take a balanced view. ”
Shakuntala Devi’s stance on morality was advanced for her times. In her book she writes: “When we have arrived at a concept of morality and ethics in interpersonal relationships according to which the dignity of the human condition is respected, we would have ascended to a higher plane of morality in which only hatred is condemned, never love. Then we will have a saner and more healthy society and also a more enlightened sexual morality. ”

Ashok Row Kavi, chairperson of Humsafar Trust and executive editor of Bombay Dost, India’s first gay magazine, was one of the people Shakuntala Devi approached to review her book. According to him, the book is remarkable in many ways. “Throughout history we have had people based on gender – napunsaka, ardhanareeshwar – but not based on sexual orientation. For the first time, she made homosexuals visible as men, who look like other men but are attracted to the same sex. She didn’t make any homosexual out to be feminine, which was a very big thing, ” says Kavi.

“But the book falls on its face when she tries to rationalise it in the Indian context, ” says Kavi. One of the people she interviewed was Srinivasa Raghavachariar, head priest of the Srirangam temple in Trichy district. “He attributed homosexuality entirely to reincarnation, ” says Kavi. According to Raghavachariar, same sex lovers must have been opposite sex lovers in a previous birth.

“We spent a lot of time discussing the reasons for homosexuality. Though she did not talk about her personal experience, there was something very sad about her, ” says Kavi.
While she did not touch upon her personal life, Shakuntala Devi did talk about marriage in her book, and how homosexuals misguidedly enter marital relationships to “cure” or escape detection. She felt marriage should not be forced upon anybody. Her words touched a chord with many members of the queer community, who were grappling with their sexuality at that time.

“The book played a very important role in my life, ” says Pawan Dhall, country director (programme and development), SAATHI. At 14, he was just discovering and coming to terms with his sexual orientation when he stumbled upon Shakuntala Devi’s book in his father’s library. “It was just what I was looking for. All of us struggle with the question – Am I the only one? For me, that was answered early on. The book made me realise that homosexuality is not a problem, that there are other homosexuals in the world. It gave me a sense of assurance, ” says 44-year-old Dhall who is based in Kolkata.

Time has rung in change. The Delhi high court ruling of 2009 decriminalised homosexuality, pride marches are being held in cities and small towns. But Shakuntala Devi’s work remains relevant as prejudices still prevail, say activists. “The history of the LGBT community in India before the 1990s is being lost very fast. Before the NGOs came and consolidated material, it existed only in people’s memories, ” says Niruj Mohan, a Pune-based astronomer, who is part of project to archive LGBT history. “Shakuntala Devi’s book is an important part of our history, which many people are not familiar with. And that is why it needs to be preserved and passed on. ”

#Mumbai- Gay man faces cops’ chin music #homophobia


Published: Monday, Feb 25, 2013, 10:30 IST
Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
 

 

In a shocking homophobic act, a youth was set upon and his chin broken at Vasai Road railway station around midnight on Friday. When DNA visited the victim at Cardinal Gracias hospital, he was still in shock.

Having worked till late in office, the 28-year-old pharma company technician took a train around 10.45pm from Dadar and reached Vasai Road an hour later. “What happened in the next two hours will haunt me all my life. It keeps flashing in front of me whenever I shut my eyes,” he wept.

Once at the station, he went to the washroom on platform 2 to relieve himself. He was then confronted by two men. “They began raining blows at me and shouted: ‘Homogiri karne toilet mein aata hai aur abhi sharif banta hai’, (You indulge in homosexual acts in the toilet and now you are trying to be decent). They pinned me down near the bridge and hit my head so badly that there was blood all over from the chin.”

Meanwhile, a GRP constable spoke to the victim’s attackers. “After some nods and pleasantries with them, he left.”

The victim’s phone, wallet and laptop were snatched away by them. They then said that they would tell his parents that he was gay. When he told told them that his family already knew, they were infuriated and the beating intensified. “I was told they’d let me go if I paid them Rs25,000. I was then taken to the SBI ATM outside the station,” he recounts.

“Once I paid them, they returned my laptop and cell phone. While putting me on an auto, one of them put his arm around my shoulder and said sorry.”

Incidentally, the guard at the ATM, Prakash Ghagre, confirmed toDNA on Sunday saying, “Some policemen had brought a man along. They said he’d been attacked and robbed and so they got him there.”

The victim’s father was given a written complaint but the GRP has made only a station diary entry of “assault by unknown persons”. The station in-charge, S Kshirsagar, said, “We need more time to investigate before saying anything.”

Meanwhile, gay rights activist Ashok Row Kavi promised legal help for the victim through the Hamsafar Trust. “The railway police commissioner or a senior officer appointed by him should do the enquiry,” Kavi told DNA.

@powerofyogesh

 

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,228 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,845,901 hits

Archives

July 2021
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
%d bloggers like this: