Organisations and individuals that currently offer their support and solidarity to Voices Against 377 are:
Anjuman began in 2003 as a platform to engage JNU’s public political spaces with conversations on gender and sexuality. Organized as a queer collective, which attempted to question and challenge the predominant norms of gender and sexuality on and off-campus, Anjumanorganized film screenings, public lectures and discussions, celebratory / protest rallies, and created posters on a range of sexuality-related themes, including LGBT themes. Some of these conversations included intersectional discussions with the Left in JNU on non-normativity, oppressive laws in India, and histories of persecution, accommodation, as well as resistance.
Breakthrough uses media, education and culture to promote values of dignity, equality and justice. Breakthrough is well known for its annual TRI Continental Film Festival, which brings together films on human rights from the third world. Breakthrough has produced several music albums and music videos with a special focus on women’s rights highlighting issues of violence against women including ‘Mann ke Manjeere’, and ‘Haman Hai Ishq’ that was broadcast on commercial television featuring acclaimed artists like Shubha Mudgal. Breakthrough has now brought out a series of short public service messages that talk about women’s issues and HIV/AIDS. Breakthrough also conducts trainings on gender and sexuality at other organizations and in schools and colleges.
- Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action
Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA) aims to empower women to articulate, demand and access their rights by enhancing women’s leadership by focusing on issues of sexuality, violence against women, sexual and reproductive rights and social justice. CREA has produced a number of resources, which provide information regarding gender, sexuality and women’s rights. Sexuality, Gender and Rights: Exploring Theory and Practice in South and Southeast Asia, a book co-edited by CREA and TARSHI was published by SAGE in India, UK, and the USA in 2005. CREA’s other publications include training manuals and public education material relating to violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and women’s rights. CREA organizes and conducts a range of training programs including the annual Sexuality and Rights Institute in collaboration with TARSHI. CREA has been part of consultations leading to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
- Haq: Centre for Child Rights
Haq: Centre for Child Rights is dedicated to the recognition, promotion and protection of the rights of all children. Haq organizes skills training workshops on child rights, engages in research on specific issues such as budgetary allocations for fulfillment of child rights and child trafficking and runs a resource centre for child rights related issues. Haq has also been involved in sustained campaigns against child trafficking and other forms of violence against children and has brought out a series of publications on these issues.
Jagori is a women’s training, research and resource centre that was established in 1984 with the aim of carrying feminist consciousness to a wider audience using creative media. The Jagori Library and Resource Centre provides services to women’s groups as well as to researchers. Jagori is well known for its feminist training, innovative learning packages, publications and advocacy materials on a wide range of women’s rights issues. The organisation also runs a counselling and mediation centre for women and girls facing violence, providing both direct support as well as community action on violence. Jagori has recently launched the ‘Safe Delhi Campaign’ aiming to involve the State and civil society in creating a safer city not only for women and girls but for all vulnerable groups.
Literally “perspective” in Urdu/Hindi, Nigah begins and furthers conversations, thoughts, debates, diatribes, rants, plays, art, protests, hissy fits and any other form of expression on issues of gender and sexuality. Virtually and on the ground in New Delhi, it is an effort to create inclusive and queer spaces that imagine new languages of cultural resistance and celebration around sexuality.
Nirantar a resource centre for Gender and Education. It works towards empowering women through education by enabling access to information, promoting literacy and engendering education processes. Its activities include direct field interventions, designing innovative programmes, training and capacity building, creating education resources and research and advocacy work. Nirantar’s engagement with issues of sexuality has included its long standing involvement with violence against women related campaigns as part of the women’s movement, perspective building workshops with community based workers of NGOs and non-formal education teachers as well as the creation of material on sexuality in Hindi.
- Partners for Law in Development
Partners for Law in Development (PLD) aims to advance women’s rights through creation of new knowledge and strengthen capacities of lawyers and paralegals through training programmes and fellowships to district level alternative law strategies. PLD has published innovative learning materials on women’s human rights, produced resource kits on gender and the law, holds local and national level training programmes on the same themes. Its issues of focus have mainly been violence against women, sexuality, culture and family. PLD has been part of law reform campaign leading to the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005, the consultations on the proposed Sexual Assault Bill, and part of the representation on gender critique to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the proposed Communal Violence Bill, 2005.
Prism is an autonomous forum, based in Delhi, which works towards raising awareness about issues affecting same sex desiring and transgendered people. The forum came together in 2001 as a result of the campaign to free four workers of Bharosa Trust, an NGO working on issues of HIV/AIDS based in Lucknow who were falsely accused under sec. 377. Prism’s agenda includes responding to human rights violations as well as advocacy work aimed at other civil society organizations as well as the State. Prism’s activities have included organizing public meetings, workshops and trainings; creation of materials; crisis intervention; engagement with law reform processes; and engaging with international instruments such as CEDAW.
Saheli, is a Delhi-based autonomous women’s group formed in 1981, working on issues of women’s health, violence against women, communalism and militarisation. Saheli also campaigns for the rights of sexual minorities, displaced people, adivasis, dalits and other marginalised people. Saheli has been part of numerous campaigns on issues relating to gender, sexuality, sexual harassment at the workplace and consultations leading to the enactment of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
Sama believes in confronting all forms of discrimination and emphasizes on equality, empowerment and rights of women, especially from marginalized communities. Since its inception, Sama has been working closely with community-based organizations, health networks, people’s movements, LGBT networks and women’s groups across the country primarily through training, advocacy (especially policy advocacy), material development and dissemination and action-research. Sama has initiated dialogues relating to sexuality, including marginalized sexualities to deepen understanding about these issues through its various activities and between the Health movement and the LGBT movement in India, on the linkages between sexuality and health.
- Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues
Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues (TARSHI) works towards expanding sexual and reproductive health choices in people’s lives in an effort to enable them to enjoy lives of dignity, freedom from fear, infection and disease, and reproductive and sexual health problems. TARSHI has been operating a telephone helpline since 1996 and has provided information, counselling and referrals on issues of sexuality to more than 57,000 callers. TARSHI has an extensive range of publications on sexuality. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has ordered and widely disseminated 42,000 copies of TARSHI’s Red and Blue Books in English and Hindi for its Adolescent Development programmes in 2005. TARSHI conducts a variety of training programmes for activists, academics and researchers, including the annual Sexuality and Rights Institute in collaboration with CREA. TARSHI also hosts the South and Southeast Asia Resource Centre on Sexuality.
- Gautam Bhan
Gautam Bhan is a Senior Consultant at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. At IIHS, Gautam teaches urban poverty, development and contemporary Indian politics. He has been an active member of social movements on a range of issues. He is Sexualities Series editor at Yoda Press, and co-editor of Because I Have a Voice: Queer Politics in India (Yoda Press: 2005). His writing has featured in many Indian newspapers, Caravan, India Today, Tehelka. He writes on Kafila. He is also a member of Nigah, a queer collective based in Delhi.
- Lesley Esteves
Lesley Esteves was active in queer organising from 1993 to 2010, first
in Bombay, and then in Delhi. In those years, she was a co-founder of
Stree Sangam, now Labia, in Bombay; on moving to Delhi in November
1998, she was immediately caught up in the storm around the film Fire,
and became a counsellor on the Sangini helpline; later she was part of
the queer group ‘Thursday Forum’ aka Prism, of Voices Against 377 and of
the group that organised the first Delhi Queer Pride.
- Ponni Arasu
Ponni Arasu is a queer feminist activist, researcher and theatre practitioner. She has worked with the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore, India. Her work involves a range of human rights issues including gender, sexuality, labour and conflict. Since 2003, Ponni has worked with Voices Against 377, a coalition of women’s groups, child rights groups, human rights groups and sexuality groups formed to initiate discussions on sexuality and the law. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD degree at the University of Toronto on the History of Tamil Nadu, 1950-70 from a feminist perspective.
- Pramada Menon
Pramada Menon is a queer feminist activist. She works as an independent consultant on issues of sexuality, sexual rights, women’s rights and social justice. She is also a performance artist. Her stand up shows focus on the intersections of sexuality, body image, identity and gender.
- Sumit Baudh
Sumit Baudh is a lawyer and consultant. He has served as legal advisor, researcher and consultant to various national and international organizations including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), CARE India, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, AMAN Trust, and Unilever. Currently, Sumit is assistant professor and assistant director of the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Sumit regularly volunteers his expertise and time to advocate for social justice causes. He is also an artist (with Abadi Art Space, New Delhi) and a keen runner (founding member, Delhi FrontRunners).