School Interactions

The session would begin by my circulating the short story Bandar aur Insaan. The story depicted the life of 3 students in a fictional school. The students belonged to the queer community. Through the medium of the story, the experiences of these three students in school would be brought forward. Once the teachers had had time to read the story, I would solicit their reactions to it and ask them whether they had noticed any student having such experiences.
                Consistent with the findings of the study, these dissemination sessions revealed: 1. Gender non- conforming students were perceived to be queer. 2. They were called names such as HOMO and Hijra. 3. There was no sex education in schools. 4. No anti-bullying policies existed in schools except in one school that addressed bullying problems though the teacher co-ordinating the policy took the view that being queer was abnormal and sought to address the bullying of such students by “normalizing” them.
               Apart from this, I also noticed reluctance among the teachers in using terms like “sexual orientation”, “gender identity” and “LGBT.” They usually used some other epithet for these terms like “uss type ke” (those type of) and there was hesitation in talking about such students. However, whatever their stance on queer issues, they all agreed that no student should be bullied in school. They also found that when they had intervened upon noticing bullying, it would stop. I also found that mentioning the Supreme Court judgments on these issues and that the Indian psychiatric society no longer considered homosexuality to be a disease, had a positive impact on the conversation.  Teachers also noted that parental issues on this topic need to change as well. Most teachers expressed interest in learning more about these issues through sexuality education seminars. However, no such seminars ever materialized even after several follow ups with the administration. Exams, corrections and scheduling problems were cited as reasons when there was a reply to follow up phone calls.

D.B.M.S. Career Academy, Jamshedpur

Motilal Nehru Public School, Jamshedpur


RMS High School, Jamshedpur


DBMS English School, Jamshedpur