Transgender student heralds change
Creates history by becoming the first in Malappuram to study on a college campus
Riya Isha walked on to the Malappuram Government College campus to an enthusiastic, colourful welcome on Saturday morning. The entire campus stood pleased as her entry created a history of sorts.
She became the first transwoman to study on a college campus in the district. The students’ union led by the Muslim Students Federation (MSF) welcomed Riya to the campus in a manner that no student at the Malappuram Government College got so far. They gave her gifts and books, and heralded her through the corridors of the college to her BA Economics classroom.
“I was thrilled by the reception I got from the students on the campus. No transgender had stepped on to a higher education campus in this part of the State so far. I wanted not only to break that stigma, but also to set a model for others to emulate,” Riya told The Hindu .
Riya’s entry on to the campus stood out as she joined Calicut University’s undergraduate programme a little later.
She had got the authorities, including District Collector Amit Meena and Vice Chancellor K. Mohammed Basheer, make special intervention in her favour.
The students had decorated the college portico with balloons on learning about the special entry of their transgender friend. Riya did not hide her excitement about the friendly treatment she got. “I was touched by their gesture. I am happy people’s attitude towards us is slowly changing,” she said.
Students union chairman Shamseerul Haq said that they had a larger message to send home by according a memorable welcome to Riya. “We wanted to underscore the importance of equality among students. We wanted to highlight that there should be no discrimination of any sorts for transwomen in society.”
Apart from Mr. Haq, vice chairperson M. Dalia, general secretary Mohammed Faris A. and joint secretary Shaheeda Sherin M.P. were among the student leaders who welcomed Riya.
Source : The Hindu, Sept 16, 2018