Jindal Global University Unveils Handbook on Transgender Rights and Gender Non-Conforming People in India

New Delhi, September 13 — A handbook titled “Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People in India” was unveiled here by Professor (Dr) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor, Jindal Global University (JGU) in presence of transgender and gender non-conforming activists from across India.

The handbook has been prepared by Jindal Global Law School (JGLS)’s Centre for Health Law, Ethics and Technology (CHLET) under Professor Dipika Jain’s supervision as a part of her clinical course on Gender, Law, and Difference in collaboration with civil society networks, NGOs and INGOs, namely India HIV/AIDS Alliance, Multiple Action Research Group (MARG) and International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

Professor (Dr) C Raj Kumar in his special address expressed his gratitude towards the transgender community for giving the faculty and students at the University an opportunity to contribute to the process of legal empowerment.

 “I am fascinated by the leadership session given to you (transgender) here. It is an opportunity for us at JGU to work for those who are being discriminated and contribute to their welfare. There are very few educational spaces that provide opportunities to move beyond the classroom and engage with social movements that have the potential for fundamental social transformation. This handbook reflects Jindal Global Law School and CHLET’s commitment to this,” said Professor (Dr) Kumar.

He further explained that academic world does not give much opportunity but we want such work to be taken forward for core research and work for community and help them in their challenges. “Academicians must come out of their comfort zone and help communities,” Professor (Dr) Kumar added.

The book was unveiled on the sidelines of CHLET’s conclusion of a day-long legal training on the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming persons in collaboration with India HIV/AIDS Alliance in New Delhi as part of the 7th Annual Hijra Habba. This training saw 40 participants from various States in India.

The content of the handbook also narrates on 2014 Supreme Court decision in the landmark case of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) vs Union of India that granted legal recognition to the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming persons in India. However, the success of NALSA vs Union of India was diluted in the process of translating rights into reality.

“The book gives you an insight on your rights, how to proceed the course of law, use of Right to Information (RTI), everything you need to know of rules and law, which will be very helpful,” said Faculty Coordinator, Professor Dipika Jain, Associate Professor and Executive Director, CHLET, JGLS. In May 2017, Professor Dipika Jain conducted the first residential course on JGU Campus in collaboration with India HIV/AIDS Alliance, MARG and ICJ.

“CHLET endeavors to cultivate a strong nexus between legal awareness and legal empowerment through this Handbook that simplifies relevant aspects of constitutional and criminal law affecting everyday lives of transgender and gender non-conforming people”. In particular, the Handbook is divided into four chapters: namely, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Getting Government Identification, and the Right to Information.

Mr Danish Sheikh, Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Centre for Health, Law Ethics and Technology at the JGLS, who translated this handbook in Hindi said the handbook promises to bridge the gap between law and society and serve as an educational and training aid for future legal awareness workshops.

“Handbook will also be soon available online and in seven other Indian languages. CHLET is currently working on translating the handbook in seven regional languages. The Handbook promises to bridge the gap of access between law and society, and serve as an educational and training aid for future legal awareness workshops”, he pointed out.

 “This resource is a great tool for both empowerment and realization of rights for transgender people in India. This will further the leadership in communities to access their entitlements and exercise their rights as citizens of India”, said Zainab Patel, UNDP.

Abhina Aher, Hijra transgender activist and Associate Director: Sexuality, Gender and Rights, India HIV/AIDS Alliance said no empowerment is complete without legal empowerment. This Handbook is extremely important in this regard, said Aher.

Ms Vandita Khanna, recent graduate of Jindal Global Law School said: “As students, we had the opportunity to use our legal education for the purposes of legal empowerment, and truly understand the transformative potential of the law”.

JGU’s CHLET conducts legal empirical research on contemporary questions of sexuality, gender, public policy, and public health law and works at the intersection of gender, power, sexuality, law and society with the vision to influence law and policy through research and consultations.

CHLET aims to cultivate a strong nexus between legal awareness and legal empowerment through this handbook that simplifies and demystifies relevant aspects of constitutional and criminal law affecting everyday lives of transgender and gender non-conforming persons.

CHLET has successfully conducted a series of courses on Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming persons for transgender activists from across the country.

About Jindal Global Law School (JGLS):

In 2009, O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) began its first academic session with the establishment of India’s first global law school, Jindal Global Law School (JGLS). JGLS is recognised by the Bar Council of India and offers a three-year LL.B. programme, a five-year B.A./B.B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) programme and an LL.M. programme with four areas of specialization: Corporate and Financial Law, International Trade Law, Intellectual Property Rights and Taxation. JGLS imparts a rigorous and multi-disciplinary legal education with a view of producing world-class legal professionals, scholars, leaders and public servants. JGLS empowers its students with knowledge, skills, and vision to meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing world. The School’s expert faculty comes from across the globe and engages in critical scholarship that contributes to public debates both in India and abroad. JGLS is committed to providing a world-class legal education to a diverse and talented body of students. At JGLS, students are given exposure to new ideas, international perspectives, and innovative teaching in an encouraging and open academic environment. The students of JGLS have been active in national and international mooting and debating competitions. In fact, the team from JGLS won the first prize in the Oxford Media Law Moot Court Competition winning against the University of Oxford in the finals. 

Related Post