Kochi : Nearly 35 transgender persons will be taught on how to dress and communicate effectively. St Teresa’s College has introduced a three-month skill development course for transgender persons with the aim to help them improve their skills to live a better life. The classes will start from Saturday this week.
“During interactions with transgender persons, they said that they lose out because they don’t have proper communication skills and grooming. Also we observed that they tend to overdress and their behaviour attracts unwanted attention. This can change with little grooming,” said Dr Sajitha J Kurup, head of department, Sociology, St Teresa’s college.
The decision was taken after a study ‘Sociological analysis of transgenders in Kochi city’, conducted by the department showed that majority of them dropped out of school either in primary class or high school, mainly due to sexual abuse or discrimination that they faced from classmates and teachers as a result of the stigma attached to their gender status.
The study showed that due to lack of education, they also had difficulty in getting jobs. For the study, students spoke to 55 transgender persons in the city at random. Further, to understand the needs of these persons better, the department organized a fashion show and during the interactions with students and faculty they admitted how they lose out on the job due to poor communication skills.
“After understanding their needs, we proposed to start a skill development course for them and 35 have already enrolled. Each person has to pay a nominal fee of Rs 600,” said Dr Sajitha.
The course module has been prepared in such a manner that 90 % focus is on practical so that it improves the quality of their life. “The classes will be conducted for 3 hours on Saturday. At the end of the course, an exam will be conducted and they will be given a certificate,” added Dr Sajitha.
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