In this video of UPS Manwan Awoora school, Kupwara, Kashmir, the community correspondent Pir Azhar shows us that there are nine classes for 250 students, and due to lack of space, the lower primary classes are held outside in the open. Also the school has only 7 teachers.
June 21, 2010 | By: christy
Defining sexual identities is difficult in any cultural context. In Indian society, where cultural norms are often more conservative than much of the West, understanding and incorporating diversity remains a significant challenge—for individuals and society at large. The US-based Human Rights Campaign Foundation defines transgender as, “a term used to describe a broad range of people who experience and/or express their gender somewhat differently from what most people expect. It is an overarching term that includes those expressing gender characteristics that don't correspond with characteristics traditionally ascribed to the person's sex or presumed sex.” Where transgender is associated with a personal, internal identity, intersexuality is often defined by physical characteristics. The Intersex Society of North America makes this distinction: “Many people confuse transgender and transsexual people with people with intersex conditions because they see two groups of people who would like to choose their own gender identity and sometimes those choices require hormonal treatments and/or surgery. These are similarities. It’s also true, albeit rare, that some people who have intersex conditions also decide to change genders at some point in their life, so some people with intersex conditions might also identify themselves as transgender or transsexual. In spite of these similarities, these two groups should not be and cannot be thought of as one.” Sexual identity is highly personal. Many people have different definitions for the above terms. At times—the more someone tries to explain their sexual identity the more confused we can become. However, it is important to understand these definitions and discuss these identities. In Indian society, any variation from heteronormative sexuality is viewed as highly taboo. Families force transsexual or intersex children to agree to a life that is not what they want. The stigma is so ferocious that it often pushes people to the edge of society. Transgender and intersex individuals are often victims of targeted violence, rape and murder. As a result of this, most LGBT individuals conceal their sexual identity from a very early age. They are forced into a life that has been scripted for them. Many marry and have children in traditional heterosexual family units. However, they might never be happy living as a false or partially false version of themselves. It is time for Indian society to change. We need to accept all people. There is a growing awareness of this in India. Young people are beginning to come out in greater numbers. We need to support them in this. There are also an increasing number of organizations aimed at providing safety and support for India’s LGBT community. IndiaUnheard’s Christy Raj works with one such organization. We support this work and the mission to build a more free and accepting India.
Pir Azhar / November 24, 2022