Project Pragati

Narsee Monjee College students host Project Pragati an LGBTQ initiative.

February 21, 2020

The objective of Project Pragati was to shelve the myths and preconceived notions that surround the LGBTQ community aside. Today, our society has forgotten the absolute consideration and inclusivity of homosexuality. Thus, the need for educating people despite the stigmas that surround the community was at the heart of the initiative by the college students. Speakers from varied backgrounds such as queer communities, social activism, and mental health propagated their support via dialogue. 

Ramakrishnan Balaji, a Queer storyteller, and TED X speaker expressed, “Your genitals do not define your gender identity, just live your life and love yourself. Do what gives you happiness.” Followed by a student asking a thought-provoking question, “What are the reasons for differences in gender and orientation?” To which, Richa Vashishta, a Queer Mental Health Professional reply explained “There are no reasons. It’s natural. Just like it is perceived to be in the case of a heterosexual. Why is it that we never ask for such reasons when it comes to heterosexuals?” The speakers cleared prejudices and emphasized how self-love, self- acceptance and standing up for your identity and belief is key. 

Shreemati Padma Iyer, mother of LGBTQ activist, Harish Iyer gave an insight into Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents, a support group for parents of LGBTQ members. Vishwa Sheth, the leader of Project Pragati claimed, “People say accept the LGBTQ community, but how can we accept them when they are already a part of us and together, we make a society.”

With the  audience including students, teachers, and parents, this event successfully took a step towards spreading literacy and removing the stigma around the subject. Dhara Joshi, a student from the National Service Unit of NM College promised, “We at NM-NSS, will continue striving to bring this paradigm shift because we firmly believe that we don’t have equal rights until all of them get to choose who they are and who they love.”

Also read: This queer woman’s Kannada poem selected for university syllabus

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