Mumbai Queer Pride, also called as Queer Azaadi Mumbai, is all set to take place on 28th January, and is expected to draw a crowd of thousands. The march will begin at 3 pm from August Kranti Maidan to Opera House to Kennedy Bridge, and will conclude at 6 pm at August Kranti Maidan again. Taking a cue from Bengaluru Queer Pride that was held in Nov 2016, Mumbai Pride too has become accessible for all and will be disability friendly this year. Organizers have tied up with Mobicab to provide a free pick-up and drop service in a wheelchair accessible vehicle to those who may need it. Mobicab vehicles are modified to make accessible travel possible for wheelchair users and Senior Citizens.
The pride will be culmination of month long activities which kept up the spirit of the queer community in the city. As part of the celebration, the much acclaimed play Ek Madhav Baug was staged too. A kite flying and queer hugs campaign too was undertaken at Juhu Beach. IIT Bombay hosted a panel discussion on Queer Literature, where noted author Devdutt Pattnaik took part. A Gulabi Mela at Juhu Beach had the queer community converging for a an evening of performances, stalls and other activities. A concert by Rainbow Voices Mumbai is planned for 27th January.
Mumbai Pride this year will also, for the first time, see medical students take part in large numbers. The students will march under ‘Future Doctors for Equality’. Another educational group – The Thadomal Shahani Educational Group- will be taking part in the Mumbai Pride, with its management and Dean extending support for the march. Joyanto Mukherjee, Dean, Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management and Thadomal Shahani Centre for Media and Communication, said, “As an educator, the last thing I should be doing is having preference over whom I want to teach. Each child is equal in front of us. If we as a academicians take a sand on this issue, it will go a long way In allowing students to express themselves openly and without at qualms. I believe the problem lies in the classroom as we are not gutsy enough to accept things. If we are inclusive in our teaching, the future is much more calmer and peaceful.” The MD of Sahani Group, Akhil Shahani, said: “At the Shahani Group we believe that building an inclusive world starts with educating our kids to understand to accept each other irrespective of their orientation. Hence we are taking part in the pride march.”
Visually impaired people under the “Blind With Camera” group will also be taking part in the pride and clicking pictures of the pride march. Blind With Camera is an initiative of the Beyond Sight Foundation, a not-for-profit organization prompting the art of photography in people with visual impairment and building capacity around the “Disability” and “Non-Retinal” Art culture in India.
For more details about the pride, visit FB event page.