Media workshop to promote LGBTQ rights held in Delhi
Delhi : Love Matters India in partnership with the Keshav Suri Foundation organized a Media workshop last Sunday to initiate a dialogue with the grassroot journalists of the country and to promote rights based and factual representation and depiction of the LGBTQ community.
The workshop highlighted the role of journalists to bring about a social change and highlighted the fact of them being the voices of unheard. Therefore, this brings a lot of responsibility on journalists as the fourth pillar to build a just society. The journalists attending the workshop came from a diverse background and were open to understand the community better and were enthusiastic to write about the issues of the LGBTQ community in their own areas. While some of them debated and denied the fact that the LGBTQ community must get acceptance in the country in the beginning, they eventually were able to grasp who the community is and its existence in India since centuries.
Manoj Kumar Sharma (Director, PR, Guru) said, "This program has been remarkable and it is an positive step to bring about change in society, highlighting such issues and talking with an open mind on them so that the mindset of society changes and people Understand such sensitive issues. "
This workshop was the first event of Love Matters India’s Press4Change project which aims to engage with the press at various levels so as to work together for more representation and rights based representation of LGBTQ community. The workshop was conducted by Richa Vashista who is an experienced trainer on mental health and LGBTQ issues. RIcha did a lot of myth busting about the community, explained the various identities and sexualities with in the community and concluded with some quick pointers about sensitivity of reporting. The project and the workshop were conceptualised on the basis of a research report by Love Matters India that highlighted a very low representation of the LGBTQ and SRHR issues.
Vithika Yadav, the country head of Love Matters India said,“I am so thankful to all the journalists who came all the way to Delhi and were so open for the conversations we were having. I understand that ‘sex’ as a word might still be a taboo for the cities where they come from; but at the same time, all of them had a spark to change that and initiate more open and non-judgemental conversations. We are proud that we have become their companion in this journey.”
The LaLiT group hosted the participants as the hospitality partner and The Keshav Suri Foundation also introduced the It Gets Better India project to the participants and appealed them to join the project and the movement as strong allies.
Keshav Suri; Founder and Chairperson from Keshav Suri Foundation remarked, “I won’t deny that we have seen relatively more attention lately from media in the urban spaces. However, the real change would come when the grassroot media and the vernacular media starts to talk about openly and frequently. The entire team at the foundation is so happy that we are playing a role to bring that very change. ”
Press4change aims to host a series of other events next year when India steps into a Post 377 Era. The project invites journalism colleges, media houses and anyone who would want to be a part of it.
Love Matters is a global multimedia initiative engaging young people to talk about love, sex and relationships, with a presence in 5 countries around the world: India, Kenya, China, Latin America (Mexico and Venezuela) and Egypt. Love Matters believes love, sex and relationships should be a right, a choice, and a pleasure. The first step towards making this possible and having an impact on young people’s lives is offering access to information.
The Keshav Suri Foundation is building a discrimination free platform, enabling community members to share their stories and stigmas – physical, emotional or mental. We are on a mission to to embrace, empower, and mainstream the community by providing employable skills opportunities to the LGBTQ community and to sensitize workspaces to accept diversity as a way of life, To work towards gender neutral policies & benefits.