Streets of Kolkata, on 23rd of August, witnessed something like never before. A bunch of queer people, walked down the evening streets of Kolkata, asking for social acceptance, and giving out hugs to people, in ‘Queer Hugs Kolkata’. The campaign was organized by the group Harmless Hugs.
They were holding placards and posters saying various things, but one thing was constant, they were asking for acceptance and love. Some placards read, “I am QUEER, will you hug me?” in both Bengali and English, while the others spoke of No Hate and Unconditional Love.
They received a mixed reaction from Kolkatans. While some people readily came forward to hug the huggers, some people were apprehensive of the word ‘Queer’. A man refused to hug initially and then looked on for thirty minutes. After this long time span, he finally decided to hug one of the huggers. This is how acceptance proceeds.
A team from Mumbai, which has been visiting 28 places collecting snippets of happiness, were very interested in this kind of a sensitization drive too. A team of Huggers not only got a lot of hugs, but were also treated to Ice Creams! Rainbow batches were handed over to people who hugged!
It was, all over, a happy hugging day.
(Photo Credits : Suchandragraphy Team, Kaustav Manna, Niladri R. Chatterjee and Sayambhu Sen)
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