The National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University in Hyderabad has become the first in the country to go completely gender-neutral. This comes in seven years after the university gave out a gender-neutral graduation certificate to a student named Anindita Mukherjee. Since then, NALSAR has worked towards making its campus inclusive for those belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community by creating spaces for the same.
Under the new policy, the administration designated one of the floors as 'gender-neutral' in which the hostel rooms will be allotted to students identifying themselves with the community. Also, the developing trans mandate has included gender-neutral washrooms available in the academic block's ground floor.
Safe And Inclusive Campus
The law university's Twitter page shared the update. "The ground floor of Girls Hostel (GH)- 6 has been designated as a gender-neutral space with rooms allotted to students self-identifying as members of the LGBTQ+ community, with plans to move towards gender-neutral hostel in due course," it read, adding that the washroom in the ground floor of the academic block will be gender-neutral as well.
Speaking to The Times of India, NALSAR's vice-chancellor, Faizan Mustafa, said, "We encourage self-identification wherein students can identify themselves without being recognised through the assigned genders. We would acknowledge the declaration by the students to respect their privacy and autonomy and would also keep it secure from their parents and guardians if need be."
Apart from assigning an inclusive space, the Hyderabad-based college wants to sensitise its teaching and non-teaching staff about the issues faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. Many students formed the 'NALSAR Queer Collective' within the campus to raise awareness and visibility. A non-discrimination policy exists where students will not face prejudice for their identity and personal choices. Along with that, courses on gender and sexuality will be taught to students.
With this, the premier law institute is heading towards becoming the country's first fully gender-neutral campus. Like the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), NALSAR is also spearheading an inclusive revolution that will encourage universities around the country to recognise the LGBTQIA+ community and give them the space for them to flourish.