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 senior 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.

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'

Breaking-barriers

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/02/tagore-students-lgbt-activism/?utm_content=buffer1ac74&;utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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- www.thethrivemag.org

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 participated in the Pride Parade in support of equal rights for the LGBTQI community at Jantar Mantar 
on 30 November 2014
  
 
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 satyamevjayate.in

Click on the link to view the video:

 

http://www.satyamevjayate.in/accepting-alternative-sexualities/episode-3article.aspx?uid=s3e3-ar-v2

 LGBTQI Awareness and Sensitization sessions held in different schools
 

1. Ambience Public School

ambience

2. St Marks Senior Secondary School, MeeraBagh

St. mark school

st mark school

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.

Students joined the Pride Parade in support of equal rights for the LGBTQI community at Jantar Mantar on 12 October 2013

 

 
Our scrapbook 
 
Our library shelf 

Our campaign flag
 

Messages of support from teachers 
 
Ms. Pooja from CREA training the students on the legal status of the LGBTQI community 

Ms. Vrinda from CREA conducting the students’ first training session 
 
Inside the scrapbook 

A skit about discrimination by our peer educators during a training session