After the historic verdict by the Supreme Court to scrap Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalised homosexuality, India has become the first-ever country to have a gender-neutral hostel.
Yes! The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai's Deonar has become the first campus in the country to have a gender-neutral hostel.
This comes after the efforts by Queer Collective, an informal student body advocating a safe space for LGBTQ+ students.
In an interview with ANI, the cultural secretary of TISS student union and a resident of gender-neutral hostel, Akunth, expressed his happiness for having a gender-neutral hostel.
He voiced his hope that other hostels would follow the move too and become the gender-neutral space. He also hoped that the move can bring about a great social change.
The first-year student at the institute said, "It's just like any other hostel. It is a place for everyone, but without the dysphoria of being segregated along the lines of gender. It is a liberal space."
So far at least 17 students have moved into the ground floor of the girls' hostel, which has been marked as a gender-neutral space.
The floor has 10 twin-seater rooms that will host transgender, or gender non-conforming students.
Akunth further, added that the gender-neutral washrooms are now also available in the campus.
Millions celebrated the Supreme Court's historic verdict to scrap Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that criminalised homosexuality in India. The order was passed on September 6. The LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer) community along with activists, authors and politicians welcomed the verdict, which also said society cannot dictate a sexual relationship between consenting adults with many cutting cakes and unfurling the rainbow flag.