Heenal Shah, 20, is of curious nature. A sociology student from Mumbai’s Kishinchand Chellaram (KC) College, Gender and Community issues fascinate her. When Shah heard a member of her college’s Rotaract Club (RC) suggest an initiative to support the LGBT community, her excitement knew no bounds. “I was glad someone from my club took it up and I couldn’t wait to contribute my bit,” she says.
The Rotaract Club of KC College launched ‘Pride’ last week. The idea is to raise awareness about LGBT+ and promote acceptance among teenagers. Students from colleges across Mumbai are being encouraged to send in their thoughts, write-ups and artworks on LGBT. These entries would be put up on LGBT Mumbai, an Instagram community page, popular among the young adults. The initiative has been receiving an overwhelming response.
19-year-old Jay Sotta, the vice president of the club, is the brain behind this initiative. Pride, he tells FSoG, is his dream project. “I’ve been wanting to do something for the community for a long time. We want teenagers to talk about LGBT and understand the community,” says Sotta. “Through initiatives, it is easy to reach to people and bring them to have a discussion,” he adds.
For the club’s former president, Deeva Jain, 21, giving a go-ahead for the initiative was an easy decision. “I didn’t think twice before approving the idea,” she says. “I have heard homophobic comments from many around me. Talking to them about it made me realise they didn’t know much about LGBT. Some of them were misinformed too,” she shares.
Calling it “the need of the hour”, Dharmil Shah, 20, the newly-elected president of RC KC says, “If we manage to change even one person’s outlook toward LGBTs, we would consider ourselves successful.”