In an empowering move, for the first time since the supreme court recognized transgender people as a third gender in 2014, more than 250 transgenders have registered to write the Intermediate and Matriculation exams of the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) that will be conducted in February and March. The exams for class 12 begin on February 14 and for class 10 March 1.
The registration for the exams are in the final phase with almost 30 lakh students- 12.6 lakh in class XII and 17.6 lakh in Class X- enrolled to write the state board exams. However, this is the first time, a separate ‘third gender’ column has been provided in the registration forms.
Earlier they had to write male or female in the gender column. Besides registration forms. admit cards, answer sheets, mark sheets and passing certificates will also have a column for third gender.
According to the information furnished by th BSEB, in all 245 transgenders have registered for the intermediate exams while around eight for the Matriculation exam. However this may include some male or female students too, Who mistakenly clicked on the option and the Board is trying to verify the same, as BSEB source said.
Officials also said that the move was to provide equal opportunity to all and that third gender members will write the exams just as any other male or female student.
“we were hoping for this in last year’s BSEB exams, but its good that at least it has happened this time. We welcome the move as a beginning in the right direction.” a transgender rights activist, Reshma told reporters.
In April 2014 the Supreme court had recognized transgenders community as third gender and directed the government to treat them as socially and educationally backward classes and extend reservation for admission in educational backward classes and extend reservation for admission in educational institutions and for public appointments. In compliance with the same, Bihar has announced OBC status for them in March last year.