The 7th Pune Pride March held on Sunday morning went ahead to be an absolutely splendid and colorful event. Despite the controversy that erupted ahead of the pride march, over 800 people participated in the rally, making it the highest turn-out since the rally’s debut in 2010. Placards were zealously flashed and slogans raised to promote the themes of inclusiveness and acceptance in all walks of the life. The rainbow flag was swirled across the circular route of the parade that commenced at Sambhaji Park.
An overwhelming support
Sunday’s pride parade witnessed several parents marching proudly in solidarity with their LGBT children. Many community members from the neighboring cities and students from various colleges in Pune also marked their presence at the rally. Multinational companies such as Symantex, Thoughtworks, IBM, ADP, Accenture and BMY Mellon fervently supported the pride march, with many of their representatives and employees boosting the spirit of the parade.
For Rohan Pujari, an LGBT figure from Mumbai, it was heartwarming to see hundreds gathered at the venue of the parade. “The atmosphere was engulfed in happiness and pride. There was so much positivity all around,” he expressed. “It was a significant pride and an amazing moment for all of us,” added Vishal Ghatge from Pune. Like Pujari, Ghatge and many others, Sumit Pawar too found the pride march to be exhilarating. “I was there to support my peers from Pune and to show that our community exists,” he said.
The response also took the organizers by surprise. Souvik Ghosh, in-charge of the pride march said, “We had never seen so many at our previous marches. This turn-out was very encouraging for us and the entire community. I think we’ve been fairly successful in promoting our themes through this pride march.”
Non-LGBT grant marshals
This year’s Pune pride march was slightly different from the previous ones. For the first time in 7 years, four non-LGBT members led the parade as grant marshals. Setting an example for other heterosexual members, these four grand marshals accepted this responsibility with sheer pride and marched with the fellow members of the LGBTQ community.