“We want to express solidarity with the larger women&’s movement with regard to the violence, or rather the campaign against violence, which is taking place at the moment in various parts of the country.”

 

statesman news service 
KOLKATA, 28 JUNE: Sexual violence across India also affects Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities and it is an issue they’ll try to highlight at this year&’s Kolkata Pride Walk, organisers said today at a Press conference at the American Center. 
“We want to express solidarity with the larger women&’s movement with regard to the violence, or rather the campaign against violence, which is taking place at the moment in various parts of the country,” said Mr Pawan Dhall from health NGO Saathi and Kolkata Rainbow Pride Walk, a collective of which organises pride activities throughout the year. The Kolkata Pride Walk will take place this year on 7 July. 
The American Center has been running a series of events, including discussions and film screenings, to celebrate Pride Month and promote LGBT rights. 
Award-winning film-maker Onir, who took part in an interactive session at the center yesterday and was at a workshop today, said he thinks there needs to be more education about sexuality and gender at schools. 
“I think it&’s extremely important that colleges and educational institutes, schools, have this move to get people talking about gender. And telling children that it&’s ok, you need to accept and respect everybody,” he said. 
Onir said he doesn’t understand those who say that sex education is not acceptable to Indian culture. “So you mean it&’s ok for children to get abused but it&’s not good to educate them, to arm them to protect themselves?” 
At the workshop today, LGBT community members and activists were busy making colourful posters and sparkly masks for the Pride Walk.  
The walk, though, is not just for those part of the LGBT community, but for anybody interested in standing up for human rights, said Raina, also known as Dhiman Roy, an activist at the workshop who has experienced serious violence in the past. “If you walk with us, then it will look like it is not an issue of ours only, it is the issue of all people.”