Chandigarh witnessed its second annual LGBT Pride Walk on the Sunday of March 2nd. Close to 100 community members and supporters walked from the Student Centre of Punjab University to the Sector-17 Plaza, carrying bright rainbow balloons and flags.
Walking under a pleasant winter sun, the participants raised slogans against Section 377 and the fact that there are no legal and social protections for the LGBT community. At Sector 17 Plaza where the Pride Walk concluded, members of the Aam Aadmi Party who were present there for a political rally came up to support the participants of the Pride Walk and articulated their support for the LGBT community, calling for all political parties to present a more inclusive face for human rights. Most passers-by were also empathetic to the problems of the community and the need to end discrimination.[caption id="attachment_5396" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo courtesy: Bikram Kohli[/caption]
Dhananjay Chauhan, director of Saksham Trust, a Chandigarh based NGO and one of the organizers of the Walk said: “The Pride Walk is an important step in ensuring that the society at large becomes aware and sensitive to the needs of the LGBT community.” Bikram Kohli, CEO of ‘Campaign for Diversity and Inclusion’, an advocacy group in Chandigarh and another organizer, said: “The Pride Walk is to celebrate the diversity in Gender and Sexuality within the society. It is the coming together of people from all sections and shedding light on the discrimination and oppression LGBT community has to face every day”.[caption id="attachment_5395" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo courtesy: Bikram Kohli[/caption]
Through the Pride Walk, the participants wished to send out a message that the discrimination they face be eliminated. With the fundamental rights of the community being violated all too frequently, they emphasized the need of a legal, social, and political framework protecting the rights of all Indians regardless of identity.
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