Celina Jaitly has always advocated equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. She will be speaking on behalf of the United Nations Human Rights Commission's 'Free and Equal Campaign' at the Entrepreneurship Summit at IIT Bombay on February 2. The actress spoke to us about her support for the cause and the need to create awareness about equal rights for the LGBT community.
You will be speaking on behalf of the UN at the Entrepreneurship Summit at IIT Bombay, how important do you think such a platform is to raise awareness about rights for the LGBT community?
We at UN Human Rights Free & Equal campaign are supporting IOTA377 because we endorse the core reason of IIT Bombay's initiative as its based upon ideologies of an excellent organisation which believes firmly believe that our democracy needs to be large-hearted enough to accept people of diverse, beliefs and orientations, as long as they do not subscribe to hatred and violence. We believe that intolerance is violence. Unlike other minorities, the LGBT community is widely invisible due to the social stigmatisation and their concerns and rights are seldom voiced. The best part of this belief/platform is that it targets the youth-mindset, to instill in them a feeling of justice and equality for all.
Tell us a bit about the IOTA 377 campaign'?
IOTA 377 is a social campaign that is targeted against discrimination of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queers (LGBTQ). The campaign will be part of the e-summit that is being held on February 1 and 2 at the campus through a panel discussion, which will have a UN representative Free & Equal Equality Champion attending it.
Do you think sensitising the youth is the first step towards generating awareness about equal rights for the LGBT community?
Absolutely! Education is the best tool to bring a positive change in society, to develop a generation of responsible individuals and contribute to the development of good human beings. Lack of sex education/gender equality, incomplete knowledge in this regard or wrong notions about sex/same sex relations breed misleading notions about the same in today's youth. The youth today will shape our and our country's future, they are the ones who need to have the correct information to build an India which is equal and just to all minorities. They should be explained the steps they can take in dealing with the issues. Education should expose the youths even to the darker side of society; the problems that eclipse it, the prejudices that shackle it and the superstitions that blind it. Youngsters should be encouraged to come up with ideas and devise ways to better the society that they are part of.
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