Back in 2014, the Delhi University introduced a third gender category in their application forms, and has since tried to be a more inclusive institution for people of all sexes, including the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex) community. But, despite repeated attempts and various efforts, “there’s still need for sensitisation”, feel many from the community.
To tackle discrimination and sexual harassment among students, and to create a haven for those seeking legal aid if they feel unsafe, the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) launched a Gender Sensitisation Cell (DU-GSC) on January 15.
Convener Narayani Anand — also a DU teaching staff member — says, “Women and transgender students make up an indispensable part of the Delhi University and we’re going to make sure that sexual harassment and gender discrimination are taken seriously.”
DUSU president Rocky Tuseed believes that endeavours through this cell will nip regressive social conditioning in the bud. “Rigid gender constructs and social conditioning have led to an unequal balance of power between people, based on their gender. This results in discrimination, and often, violence. Our workshops will encourage students to redefine traditional roles and responsibilities, and to explore a world where they are not tied down to stereotypes,” he says.
The LGBTQI community is equally hopeful. An Economics (Hons) student, says, “It is a great move that will help many who are closeted to feel free and safe. Many of us live in fear of being ostracised by our very friends and family, and this step ensures that we will have some place to go to.”