The Cell for Human Rights and Access to Justice successfully organized a lecture, documentary screening and discussion by Ms. Sonal Giani on Wednesday, 4th November 2015 on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and ground human rights violations. Ms. Giani is an LGBT activist, theatre producer and founder core member of “Yaariyan”, a youth group for LGBT individuals.
The session began with Ms. Giani defining to the audience the meaning of the word LGBT which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. She gave background as to the introduction of Section 377 by Lord Macaulay into the Indian Penal Code. After the screening of the trailer of the film titled ‘Breaking Free’ by Sridhar Rangnayan which documents the struggles of the LGBT community for the last 30 years, Ms. Giani spoke about beginning of the agitation a few years ago when out-reach workers conducting an awareness program about HIV-AIDS, were arrested under Section 377 by the Mumbai police. She shared some of the most common myths related to the LGBT community like how some people consider it to be a western influence and whether someone can be brainwashed to become either a gay or a lesbian.
“To deny one their human rights is to challenge their very existence.” - Nelson Mandela