Breaking Barriers---Our LGBTQI Campaign

Our school is an active member of The Global Education Leadership Foundation, which is dedicated to building socially conscious youth leaders. As part of this program, two of our ex students, Sohini Chakrabarti (Class XI) and Safina Amin (Class XII) participated in tGELF’s Youth Leader Competition. They had to choose a social issue close to their hearts and make a positive change in this area.

In the year 2013, a pioneering effort had been made to break social barriers, the students decided to start a Delhi-wide LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) Rights Campaign. After learning about the heavy discrimination faced by LGBTQI individuals, Sohini and Safina recruited 25 peer educators from Class IX-XI to help spread awareness and sensitivity about this community.

The school has partnered with CREA and the Naz Foundation to take forward this cause. CREA has conducted nearly 25 hours of intensive training for our peer educators, and Naz has provided us with resources and facilitated an interaction session between the peer educators and members of the LGBTQI community.

The peer educators have been conducting informative workshops for students of Class IX-XII and all teachers in the school. They are also holding movie screenings and planning a one day advocacy event. For sustainability of the project, they are maintaining a Facebook page, a notice board, an anonymous complaint box, a scrapbook and an LGBTQI - dedicated shelf in the library.

We launched this campaign in our other branch, East of Kailash, in September. The students have made a two-year commitment to this project and hope to be in several schools across the city by 2015. They aim to garner public and media attention and cause a positive shift in social attitudes regarding the LGBTQI community, at least amongst the youth.

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Session 2019-20
Special screening of a production under the banner, Miss Woomaniya on 20th Oct 2019 at The Lalit Hotel, New Delhi

Ms. Nikita Tomar Mann, Principal and Ms. Vedica Saxena, Project Director were invited to the special screening of a very beautiful Queer film 'Singular'- The Queen of Success, by Miss Woomaniya productions on 20th Oct 2019 at The Lalit Hotel, New Delhi. It was indeed a great experience to witness some amazing talent, DRAG performances, poetry, be a part of a talk on mental health.. They were completely swayed by the splendid work by  Keshav Suri Foundation that is worth applauding. KSF believes in giving platform to everyone to come out and showcase their talent irrespective of any gender norms.

This queer film is going to be India's first cinematic documentary on transmodel under Miss Woomaniya Production directed by Naveen Tokas and Deepanshu Pitlehra. It's a documentary film which depicts one message that every transwoman is also a woman; should be treated equally and with respect. It will be showcased at the Delhi International Queer fest in December this year.

Students of breaking barriers Campaign at Shiv Nadar School Gurgaon for a presentation on 14th Oct

There were about 150 students who were sensitized on the LGBTQ+ community and given all information including the legal aspects, history. The students seemed very interested and keen during the presentation. They posted a lot of queries which our students answered patiently. They expressed desire to start a similar Campaign and wish to undergo more intensive training in the future.

Drag Queen Story Hour for the students of classes IX & XI on 14 October 2019
 'Drag Queen Story Hour' was organised by Keshav Suri Foundation at our school today for campaign members of classes IX & XI where a drag queen read out a story sending out message on gender fluidity and promoting queer models to impact student's minds. They have given away 50 books on 'Elphie, The Elephant' which will be available in our junior library as well. The campaign members will soon read out the story to the kids of junior classes followed by activities on gender neutrality.
This story hour was held in order to celebrate one year anniversary of Keshav Suri Foundation which works to highlight the issues faced by the deeply marginalized LGBTQI+ community.
Session on 'Gender Sensitization' with RED FM team, RJ Anuj & RJ Sachin on 12th Sep 2019  at Lingaya's Lalitha Devi Management Institute, Chattarpur

Breaking Barriers team conducted yet another session on 'Gender Sensitization' with RED FM team, RJ Anuj & RJ Sachin on 12th Sep 2019. This time it was even more special because the audience was not a school, but second year students of  Mass Communication at Lingaya's Lalitha Devi Management Institute, Chattarpur. The audience was receptive and they applauded our students for their confidence and immense knowledge on the topic. The students also talked about LGBTQIA+ rights and spread awareness on their legal aspects as well. RJ Sachin praised our school for sensitizing students at an early age on social issues that the society is facing.

Breaking Barriers team at Maharaja Agarsain  School ,Ashok Vihar on 11 September 2019  under 'Pride Ki Side' campaign with RJ Raunac. Event was  covered live on RED FM too.

Breaking Barriers team  commemorated  decriminalization of Section 377 hosting an event in association with RED FM on 06 September 2019

School proudly celebrated one year of unshackled love- the decriminalization of Article 377 on 6 September 2019. This is an issue which has been actively worked towards by the students of Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar from the year 2013 and is indeed a unique effort as far as school students are concerned. This is the only school in the nation to have celebrated this day at a large scale. The show started with some mesmerizing performances by the special guests that were invited. A powerful DRAG performance by Prashant Chauhan and an elegant Kathak recital by Ajeet Das were quite spell binding. School band performed on stage left the audience in awe as the lyrics revolved around the community followed by a student’s heart-warming poetry on the LGBTQIA+. The students presented a slideshow of achievements and milestones of the Breaking Barriers Campaign since its inception in 2013 until now. The audience was enlightened by the heartful and inspiring speeches of the various personalities starting from Vikramaditya Sahai, an independent researcher in gender and sexuality, Mrs. Reena Rai, founder of Miss Trans Queen India and chairperson DAEF, Naaz Joshi, Miss Trans Queen India Classic 2018 and Miss World Diversity, RJ Swati from Red FM to Aakash an accessory designer. Naveen Tokas, founder of Miss Womaniya Production and his team also joined the celebration. The event was a grand success and left the audience moved, empathetic and highly appreciative. The school students also organised a face painting & tattoo photobooth in the school with all rainbow coloured props and hair wigs. The entire school was painted in rainbow colours. The school principal, Ms Nikita Tomar Mann & Sr School Education Advisor, Ms. Madhulika Sen also shared some inspiring words with the students on how they must continue to lead a life of inclusivity and create a safe world with all colours given equal right that they deserve. The school has indeed made an endeavour to celebrate a year of freedom, and they hope that many years of pride will follow.


Photography done by;
Arsh Bhasin
Manya Kamath
Preyansh Mongia
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Awareness & interactive  session at Tagore International School, EOK in association with RED FM and 'Pride Ki Side' campaign on  04 September 2019  
Official launch of 'Pride ki Side', a new campaign from 04 Sept.-13 Sep. 2019 by students in association with RED FM
Our students of breaking barriers campaign were invited to RED FM studio, Noida on 3rd Sep 2019 to officially launch 'Breaking Barrier's event on 06 September, organised at school in order to celebrate the first anniversary of  decriminalization of Section  377. RJ Raunac interviewed our campaign members about our campaign as well as what we do in order to sensitize the society about the LGBTQI community. The students were live, on air at 10 am on red FM sharing everything about their campaign outreach.
In association with RED FM and our newly launched campaign known as 'pride ki side', our campaign members will also be visiting one school/college everyday from 4th Sep. to 13 Sep. to sensitize students and teachers, professors about the community.
Session with students of Ramjas School,Pusa Road on 22 August 2019

A total of seven speakers from the  team of ' Breaking Barriers' campaign from X, XII & XII  grades visited Ramjas School, Pusa Road on 22nd August for an LGBTQIA Rights and Awareness session. It was an hour long session with 300 students (from classes IX & XI) that focused on gender sensitization, basic terms related to LGBTQIA, gender roles, sexual orientation, sexual behaviour, historical evidences of the existence of the community since the Mughal Era. They covered news about our school's presence in pride parades every year and the efforts that they are putting in to create a difference in mindsets of people. The session was very interactive and audience was very receptive. This was followed by a question answer session where the students showed interest in connecting with us to start a similar campaign in their own school. The session ended with a huge round of applause for our campaign team members.


Interaction with students of Shiv Nadar School, Noida on 19 August 2019

A total of seven  speakers from the  team of ' Breaking Barriers' campaign from classes XI & XII  grades visited Shiv Nadar School, Noida on 19th August for a session on  LGBTQIA awareness  and gender sensitisation. It was an hour long insightful session where the audience were students of classes X & XI.  The presentation covered all basics of the terms related to LGBTQIA, gender roles, sexual orientation, sexual behaviour, historical evidences of the existence of  community   from the Mughal times. Also it covered all essential details of our school's presence in pride parade and the efforts of our students for  creating a difference in mindset of people in societies and communities. The session was very interactive and audience was very receptive. This was followed by an  insightful question answer session where the students  showed interest in connecting with us in future on the same campaign.. The session ended with a huge round of applause for our campaign team members.

Breaking Barriers team aired on Rajya Sabha TV channel on 11th August 2019 

A special show called 'The Pulse' was aired on Rajya Sabha TV channel on 11th August 2019. The show focused on the topic of 'The Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill 2019'. Our Breaking Barriers campaign students were a part of this panel discussion which comprised of Ms. Reena Rai, Founder and Chariperson DAEF, representatives from Ministry of Social Justice & Human Rights. Our students shared details about their own campaign before the panelists. The students were also interviewed and posed questions by the show host about all that our campaign does in order to spread awareness about the community.

Session on 'Gender Sensitization' on 08 July 2019 with Ms.Reena Rai, founder and chairperson, DAEF and her Rainbow Team
The students of classes X & XI felt engrossed in the session that focused on 'We are your Strength'. This session was on inclusiveness of transgender community for adding to the strength of the society. Ms. Reena Rai , founder and chairperson, DAEF and her Rainbow Team were invited to speak more about the community. She shared her own story and journey into creating her own organization. She is also the founder of Trans Queen India, the first transgender beauty pageant in the country. This year, her team is representing India on the international level with it's season 3.  Her children, Ms.Amrita and Ms. Navya became a huge inspiration to the students when they shared their proud and challenging journey from childhood until now with everyone. Navya is a transwoman contestant in Trans Queen India and a renowned actress in a famous TV serial. Ms. Amrita is a 'Josh talks' speaker as well as a youtuber with over 5 million viewers/followers on her channel that spreads awareness about the community. Both of them have had their share of overwhelming and challenging phases in life where they weren't accepted by their families way back in 2005.
Mr Aakash, another proud member of the community shared his life story of how his parents supported him to accept his identity with pride. Whereas his joint family had stopped encouraging and taking pride in him when they realised that he was a gay. He is a renowned jewellery designer now. He recalls how society was even difficult for them  to live in about a decade ago. These people were proud of the fact that our school is sensitizing and spreading awareness across other schools in cities.
Students were able to breakthrough the narrow shackles/boundaries of transphobia and homophobia after this session. They were also able to view the LGBTQI community with a lot more compassion.
Awareness & sensitization session at DAV Public School on 13 May 2019

The main speakers' team from Breaking Barriers of class XII provided an insight into the LGBTQI Community to students of classes XI and XII at DAV Public School, Vasant Kunj on Monday, 13th May 2019. The presentation proved to be fruitful.The audience was extremely receptive throughout the course of the presentation, listening attentively and responding actively. It certainly left a successful impact on the students, with a few inspired to take up  something similar themselves. The students from DAV expressed desire  to start a similar campaign in their school under our guidance and with our support.

Session 2018-19
Students participated in and expressed their solidarity with the LGBTQI community at Pride Parade held on 25 November 2018 at Tolstoy Marg
On 25th November 2018, the students of our school again walked the streets of Delhi with members of the community. This was the first  Delhi Queer Pride Parade since the historic 377 verdict of the honorable Supreme Court, decriminalizing homosexuality. Being the only school students present at the parade, they were welcomed with great enthusiasm. News reporters from NDTV and even the organizers of the parade clicked pictures of our students and interviewed them as well. Our students spoke about our schools’s Breaking Barriers campaign and their interview was even featured in the Delhi Times issue dated 27th November 2018.
Session at Tagore International School, EOK on 30 October 2018

The main speakers’ team of Breaking Barriers visited our sister school at East of Kailash on Tuesday, 30th October 2018 to conduct the presentation on LGBT awareness. The team met with an attentive audience comprising classes VIII, IX and XI that paid great attention to detail and were well aware of many issues that were touched upon in the presentation.  The aware and observant crowd of spectators made the session a successful one.

Visit to Bloom Public School, Vasant Kunj on 22 October 2018

The Breaking Barriers team visited Bloom Public school, Vasant Kunj on Monday, 22nd October 2018 to conduct a session on  LGBT sensitization. With active participation and elaborate discussions from the audience’s side, the event was full of energy and insight. The speakers received thought-provoking questions and strong views which made the presentation a delight to spectate.

Expressing joy as  Supreme Court decriminalizes Section 377

The members of Breaking Barriers club celebrated the historic judgement on Sec. 377  wherein SC  ruled that consensual adult  sex is not a crime and sexual orientation is natural.

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 Breaking Barriers team conducted a presentation for all sections of class XI on 24 August 2018
The members of the Breaking Barriers campaign - Urvi Ambekar, Prarthana, Batul Nadeem, Meghna Hirwal and Vitthal Rao, held a presentation for grade 11 on the 24th of August, 2018 to raise awareness and sensitize fellow students about the LGBTQIA community. The one and a half hour interaction was aimed at eliminating myths and creating a safe and queer friendly atmosphere in the school. Discussing topics that everyone could relate to - from gender based stereotypes to biased stream selections and celebrity representation, the students were seen patiently listening as well as prompting questions where they had a contradiction. The presentation started off from the basic concepts and ideas, sliding into ignorance and discrimination faced by the community, followed by the legal aspect. The team ended it by discussing about frequently asked questions and what the audience, as students, are expected to do.
Session 2017-18
Tagoreans showing their support yet again by participating in the annual Pride Parade in support of equal rights for the LGBTQI Community on 12 November 2017

The 10th Annual Delhi Queer Pride Parade was held on 12 November 2017; beginning at the intersection of Barakhamba Road and Tolstoy Marg, the humongous rainbow crowd who had come to celebrate the LGBT+ community marched all the way to Jantar Mantar, and back. Like every year, a team of students, of classes X and XI, from our school visited the Parade for a short duration; raising their colourful placards and banners, Tagoreans had a ball. They were even covered in Delhi Times (15/11/17 edition), being the only school to show up at the Parade. Seeing people, quotes and colours of all kinds, it was an incredible learning experience, mixed with a literal rainbow of enjoyment.

Session 2016-17
School featured in online magazine ' Youth Ki Awaz';utm_medium=social&


Tagoreans participated in Pride Parade in support of equal rights for the LGBTQI Community at Jantar Mantar on 27 November 2016

On the 27 November 16, the members of Breaking Barriers campaign participated in the 9th Delhi Queer Pride Parade. The Delhi Pride Parade, an annual event held to honour and celebrate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community, was held.Our students along with hundreds of supporters gathered on the streets of Delhi to show solidarity . Masquerading as vivid characters, everyone was decked up in multi-coloured accessories and apparel. The march kicked off from Barakhamba Road and culminated at Jantar Mantar. The march was a vibrant mix of young college students, middle-aged folks, and a smattering of older folks.. There were colourful balloons and banners of support. All of us demanded the repealing of laws that are considered discriminatory to people who identify as queer – for example, Section 377, which criminalizes homosexuality. We demanded an end to discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation. We demanded equality for all and an end to Human Rights violation against the community.

Students set up a stall to spread awareness for LGBTQI community through sale of ALLY stickers on 03 September 2016
Nazariya - train the trainer programme was conducted on 06 August 2016
School featured in online magazine ' Youth Ki Awaz'
Link to the website
Session 2015-16
Tagoreans participated in Pride Parade in support of equal rights for the LGBTQI Community at Jantar Mantar on 29 November 2015
Movie screening by KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival for the students of Breaking Barriers team by Mr.Rangayan and Mr. Gautam Yadav on 03 November 2015

Tuesday, 03 November, 2015, Tagoreans saw a movie screening event by KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, as a part of their initiative, KASHISH Forward, India’s first travelling campus LGBTQ film festival. KASHISH Forward is a series of film screenings and discussions that are held at campuses across India, aiming to reach out and create awareness about LGBTQ issues through the medium of cinema. The objective is to create an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance for LGBTQ students on campus who maybe grappling with issues of coming out, in challenging environments due to a society that is still largely unaccepting of alternative genders and sexualities.

Tagoreans creating buzz about Breaking Barriers
LGBTQI - report copy
Tagoreans launched The Thrive Magazine, the first International e-magazine for LGBTQI youth on 15 September 2015. 

On 15th September, 2015, Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar saw the launch of The Thrive Magazine, the first international e-mag for LGBT+ youth around the world, initiated by Siddhi Pal (XII-D), Sohini Chakrabarti (XI-B), Anshul Bhardwaj (XI-B) and Jaya Rao (XII-B), senior members of Breaking Barriers, India’s first LGBT rights, awareness and sensitization campaign at the school level. The official website of the campaign, a culmination of all the work we’ve been doing for the last couple of years, was also unravelled at the event. 

The Chief Guests for the day were Ms. Anjali Gopalan, Founder and Executive Director of the Naz Foundation (India) Trust and Ms. Pramada Menon, Founder of CREA.  Two absolutely revolutionary women, their words of encouragement were extremely impactful and definitely motivated the students who attended the ceremony, especially the members of Breaking Barriers. Naina, an 11th grader, one of the youngest transgendered individuals in the country, also shared her inspiring journey of self-discovery with the students, which got most of the audience teary-eyed and really brought the issue to life for all of us.
Aayushi Mehrish and Riddhi Dutta, two students of class XII, presented a beautiful dance-drama based on the suppression of same-gender love in our society.
Ms. Melissa Jun Rowley, a journalist and the Executive Director of The Toolbox, a social impact and data-driven development platform, who mentored Team Thrive during the process of developing the magazine, and Ms. Shivanee Sen, the Founding Mentor of Breaking Barriers, currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Education and Applied Psychology from Harvard University, USA, could not be present at the event, but sent in two wonderful video-messages for the students. At the ceremony, an environment that facilitated inspiration and the flow of new ideas was achieved. Days like these make us realize the vitality of the initiatives we’ve taken up and motivate us to continue diligently working towards a more inclusive and equitable society! 

Check out the webpages here:
The Thrive Magazine-

Session 2014-15


Sidhi Pal of class XII-D represented Breaking Barriers at The Just Place Summit in New York from 21 to 29 March 2015 which was organised by We are a Family Foundation


Tagoreans were invited for a talk on LGBTQI at The Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School, Manhattan

Four students from Breaking Barriers (our LGBTQI Rights Campaign team) were invited to LREI, a progressive high school in Manhattan, to talk about our pioneering work in LGBTQI issues in India in October 2014. Jatin Kumar Sawhney, Tanya Roy, Tanya Bhardwaj and Shailja Kumar from Classes 11 and 12 spent two weeks meeting organizations and conducting presentations.

 Tagoreans taking a stand on LGBTQI are featured on

Click on the link to view the video:


Session 2013-14
School won National Youth Leader Award

 The Global Education and Leadership Foundation under the Khemka Foundation organized their annual festival ‘Harmony’ on 16th and 17th November 2013. The “Youth Leader” competition was nationally won by Safina Amin of class X C and Sohini Chakravarti of class IX C. Their LGBTQI awareness and sensitization programme was the most appreciated amongst 40 other projects nationally.