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Posted at: Mar 13, 2018, 12:56 AM; last updated: Mar 13, 2018, 12:56 AM (IST)

Breaking stereotypes

On the opening day of Chandigarh Garvotasava 2018 at Panjab University, students gathered to break prejudices while aiming at an all-inclusive society

Mona

Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start...said Jason Collins, the iconic NBA (National Basketball Association) player, and one could see it living it up in its true sense as one walked into Student Centre at Punjab University on Monday morning. The surroundings were colourful and so was the motley crowd taking over the happening space — indeed a bright start to the Pride Week — Chandigarh Garvotasava 2018.

All kinds of colourful people made it to the space; some openly flaunting their identity, others mutely supporting it but there sure were no boundaries. Centre of all this happy vibe was Dhananjay Chauhan, the courageous soul who started it all. The first ‘transgender’ to get admitted in the University, he was hugged by all — boys and girls —and being feted at pulling off the feat. Those who observed closely could see stress mounting. Dressed in green saree, Dhananjay closely monitored if posters were in place, band ready, theatre group on the stand by  and numerous countless other concerns. “We are being supported this year by Saksham Trust, Nazaria Productions, Canadian Embassy, Chandigarh Administration and more,” she shares marching on to see arrangements. 

Band width

While band Qissa set the mood with their songs and crowd thumping up to it, theatre group Awaaz’s street play Bejubano Ki Kahani Unhi Ki Zubani brought to the fore the atrocities committed on LGBT community. An eye-opener and a shocker at the same time, it did help breaking down the barriers for sure.

If Jashn-e-Rang at Student Centre bathed in happy vibe, attracted all and sundry, to become part of the celebrations — some joined a song, others skipped to the beat of music! The workshop on gender sensitisation took a sombre mood at UILS. A film screening, classical dance, more plays, drag queen show...this Pride Week has just begun!


Right step

It is seven days of festivity and this time moving beyond the University Campus, there would be events in sectors 8, 10 and 17 too. LGBT community is still fighting for their identity and the Pride Week is a step in the right direction. — Dipankar, Nazaria Productions

True respect

It’s heartening to see all shades of genders being accepted and respected. Unless we open up, we wouldn’t be able to fight the prejudice that society harbours. I came out in the open seven months back, my family back in Jammu is still coming to terms but I am glad to be in the university where noise is being made. — Sukreet Sharma, student, MFA

Gaining ground

Honestly, I know nothing beyond words LGBT. I have seen Dhananjay hanging around. She is as much part of campus as us and I am here to know more. — Kajal, BSc zoology student

Positive difference

I am here for my friends. An unbiased society provides better opportunities for everyone to grow. I am glad that here everyone is coming together to bring a positive difference. — Parvesh Gauri, research scholar, Department of Hindi

Changing times

Little did I know about the challenges this community faces. It was through Aawaaz that I lived the horrors and became instrumental in becoming their voice. Our street play Bejubano Ki Kahani Unhi Ki Zubani has won nationals and sure been a change maker. — Sidhant, Chitkara University student

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