In a first, Kerala announces reservation for transgender students in nursing colleges

The move was hailed by the queer community as well as members of civil society as a progressive step towards equality and gender justice.

BySreerag PS

Published Jul 27, 2023 | 7:00 AMUpdatedJul 27, 2023 | 7:00 AM

File photo a pride march taken out by the members of the queer community and allies in Kerala (Supplied)

The Kerala government on Wednesday, 26 July, announced its decision to grant reservations to transgender students in nursing colleges.

Announcing the decision, Health Minister Veena George said one seat each would be set aside for transgender students wishing to pursue BSc and general nursing courses.

In a Facebook post, the minister termed the move “the first in history”, and said it was made to ensure the representation of transgender persons in the state’s healthcare sector.

The state government has been making several initiatives for the upliftment of the marginalised communities, and the reservation in the nursing sector is a part of such efforts, she said.

Also read: Kerala queer community angered by World AIDS Day poster

Historic decision

The transgender community and its allies in Kerala welcomed the historic decision. Anil A, a queer ally, congratulated George for her intervention.

“We (transgender students) have reservations in arts and science colleges. But admissions to professional courses such as MBBS and BTech based on a common entrance test do not have seats reserved for transgender students,” he told South First.

“It is the first time that such a reservation has been introduced in Kerala. A nursing student had approached the minister seeking an opportunity to pursue a career in nursing. The student can pursue nursing this year. This is a historic development as far as transgender rights are concerned,” Anil added.

The CPI(M)’s youth wing, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) also hailed the decision and claimed that Kerala was the first state in the country to introduce such a reservation in nursing colleges.

“Congratulations to the Kerala government for introducing reservation in the field of nursing for transgenders for the first time in the history of India,” the DYFI said in a statement.

Also read: Meet transwoman Padma Lakshmi, Kerala’s 1st transgender lawyer

A welcome step 

Vipin Krishnan, hailing from Kozhikode and working as a staff nurse at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, termed the decision “remarkable”.

“This scenario has to be viewed against the backdrop that a majority of the hospitals under the Central government has no such reservation system for marginalised sections like the transgender community,” he said.

The reservation would open up more opportunities for the transgender community to join mainstream society, he added.

“This move can also help eradicate the stigma attached to the trans community in society. As a healthcare worker, I am immensely happy to see more people from the marginalised communities joining our nation’s healthcare sector,” Krishnan added.