2 Jan 2017

India opens school for transgender students

The school aims to help adults between 25 and 50 who dropped missed out on education due to their gender identity.

India's first school for transgenders, Sahaj International, opened with 10 students in the Indian city of Kochi, Kerala.

The curriculum will help students pass India's standardised national tests as well as some vocational training. All of the teachers are also transgender.

Transgender activist Vijayraja Mallika, who heads the school, told the BBC: "The school aims at making transgenders eligible for taking decent jobs and living a dignified life."

"We have admitted six candidates so far, all male-to-female persons, from 14 applicants. Of the 10 seats, we have reserved one for female-to-male and one for the disabled."

Around a half of India's estimated two million transgender people in India fail to finish school as a result of discrimination or abuse.

"This is a model centre. Once proved successful, we will expand the facilities and admit more people, from across India," said Ms Mallika.