Now that the celebrations over the scrapping of Section 377 are quieting down, the real work can begin. The LGBTQ community has a long fight ahead for full equality and acceptance in society. Activists believe it’s the start of a new era for the nation’s LGBTQ community.
Take the case of Gauri Sawant. Gauri is a transgender activist who makes it a point to use ‘Shri’ before her name as a sign of protest against our male-dominated society. You saw her last year in the viral #TouchofCare Vicks film, where she narrated her fight against the patriarchy.
Born as a man, Ganesh Suresh Sawant in Pune, at the age of 9, after the mother’s untimely demise, Gauri realised she was not what others thought her to be. She’d be mocked by children and adults alike, but that didn’t stop her from fiercely claiming her identity as her own. “The film helped me narrate my story to the world – familiarizing the world with my identity as a mother. It has let people see that motherhood is independent of gender and the support that I have received from the various people and the organisation is testimony to it.” Gauri has been working for the welfare of the daughters of commercial sex workers at Kamathipura for over a decade.
Support for the LGBTQ rights movement expressed from corporate settings is propitious. Gauri will be the first recipient of a #TouchofCare fund Vicks has set up to honour extraordinary stories of care that have emerged beyond the conventional family ties. She deserves this honour for taking under her wing an abandoned child and giving her a respectable life and education. Gauri will use the funds received to build ‘Nani Ka Ghar’, a home for neglected children.