Kottayam: Kerala’s 200-year-old CMS College in Kottayam broke new ground as it welcomed transgender students to the institution. The two transgender students were given a grand reception at the college.

The classes for the first year undergraduate courses started on Monday (June 10). Transgender students Avanthika and Shana Navas have opted to pursue BA history and economics.

Avanthika is a Pala native, Kottayam but currently lives in Kochi. She completed her Plus Two in 2014 but she was forced to discontinue studies due to financial crisis and her identity. She is also preparing for civil services exam.

Shana, a native of Athirampuzha, Kottayam, had completed her Plus Two from Vocational Higher Secondary School in Kaippuzha and resides in Thrikkakara, Kochi. She is a trained dancer. She is looking forward to showcasing her talent in college and at university level cultural events and competitions.

The duo got admission in the college based on the state government’s decision to reserve two seats completely for trans persons in all courses run by universities and affiliated arts and science colleges. The duo is planning to move from Kochi to Kottayam next month.

Both the students thanked the college authorities who took extra care to ensure that they don’t face any problem.