Companies Associate for LGBT inclusivity

About 30 massive companies are working together to empower LGBTI workers in India. IBM is leading the initiative of bringing together the multinational companies (MNCs). They plan to work out strategies together to become more inclusive of LGBTI employees.‘We cannot name the companies but these are a mix of MNCs and Indian companies from technology, retail and FMCG domain,’ Ajay Dua, executive sponsor LGBTI, IBM India told The Economic Times.  ‘We are visibly LGBT-inclusive in the external marketplace to remain an employer of choice for this talent pool. Our hiring practices are inclusive.’

The Indian branch of global consultancy firm Bain & Company started aiming for greater diversity amongst its workforce last year. ‘The association provides a unified diversity message throughout the recruiting process, an open communication channel with leadership to advise them on relevant policies, ensure a supportive work environment, and overall awareness of LGBT issues,’ said Bain partner, Parijat Ghosh.

Other MNCs spoke to The Economic Times about how their European and US offices already had diversity policies in place. But the companies were hesitant to go on the record because of a lack of legal protection for their employees.
‘We have two LGBT employees and it is disclosed to management at the time of hiring but we would want their identities protected, mainly because of legal reasons,’ said a spokesperson for a consumer goods firm.
Real estate company Godrej has gone one step further in promoting inclusivity. Its equal opportunity policies apply to all and it does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

‘Our anti-harassment policies are gender neutral,’ said head of Godrej India Culture Lab, Parmesh Shahani.
‘We also have equal benefits to same-sex partners of employees, fully paid three month adoption leave (which is also gender neutral) and a medical benefit scheme which includes the spouse/domestic partner, parents and/or children of an employee.’


11 Reasons why Romil and Jugal is a must watch for everyone

Ekta Kapoor’s AltBalaji digital platform brings an entertaining and progressive show, Romil And Jugal. With the lead cast of Rajeev Siddhartha and Manraj Singh, director Nupur Asthana has made a worth watching full fledged Indian Show. Here are some of the best things about Romil and Jugal.

1. Characters

Each character is so interesting and inspiring that you feel some connection with them. Cheerful and romantic Jugal, Deep and dashing Romil, flamboyant and smart Ramya, sophisticated Meher, and ofcourse the mature ones. Everyone makes you smile and inspires you in some way. The characters of Romil and Jugal are realistic. Meher and Ramya inspire to support and stand up for your gay friends. Each character is distinguished and original. Besides them, there are many impressive characters in the show.

2. Brilliant Actors

The actors have done their job magnificently. Protagonists Rajeev and Manraj express more through eyes than words. They make their characters look so real that you can literally feel their emotions. Their portrayal of gay characters is realistic and heart-touching. Romil is the most difficult character of the show. And Rajeev portrays it with excellence.

Srishti Ganguly, (who plays the role of Jugal’s sister Ramya), performs with grace. She fits in every situation. Vritika Ramnani (Meher, the best friend of Jugal) acts naturally. She expresses her love, insecurities and care for jugal very well.

3. Epic Romance

 The romance is obviously something you have never seen before. But at any moment, you never feel anything weird or uncomfortable. The romance is different but soul stirring. It touches your heart, either u r gay, straight, a boy or girl. It makes you realize that love is love.

4. Refreshing and Fun

 Romil and Jugal is a light hearted show. You would be enjoying each and every moment.

4. Dialogues:

The dialogues are original and impressive. They make you laugh as well as think. 


Romil and Jugal is an awesome RomCom. The characters have awesome sense of humor. Comic timing of actors is amazing. They give you light as well as heavy doses of laughter.

7. Music

The show has some nice songs and heartening background music.

8. Strong social messages

The show educates people about relationships, friendships, acceptance, tolerance. Through powerful instances, it explains how homosexuality is normal and natural. It inspires to accept and embrace homosexuality and speak up against homophobia. It makes you realize how wrong and sinful it is to marginalize and oppress homosexuals.

9. Drama/Suspense.

 This show is full on drama. At every moment, u wonder whats gonna happen next. You enjoy every moment. While watching it, either you will be smiling, laughing, touched, shocked or crying!

10.Its for everyone.

 If you think its just a gay romance, you are totally wrong. This is for everyone, straight/gay/men/women/adults/matures.You can relate yourself to some character. There are no adult scenes. Its a family show.

11. Progressive and meaningful

 Real cinema is what makes you think. Cinema is what stirrs your emotions, your mindset. Romil and Jugal represents the reality and breaks various myths and stereotypes. It doesnt force you to make any opinion. it makes you think by yourself. Its a film which you enjoy as well as learn from.

Watch Romil and Jugal now on ALTBalaji

By Himanshu Gupta ~Admin & Writer GRI


Romil And Jugal is a reality of our society, which every Indian needs to acknowledge.

‘Romeo and Juliet’ was based on one couple but this Romil and Jugal is based on lives of millions. There are Romils and Jugals who are fighting for their love, their existence and dying from inside everyday. Romil and Jugal is not just a show, its a mirror of our homophobic society.

The last episodes will leave you into tears. It would be most difficult for gay men to watch them, because Its not a drama for them its the reality of their lives. But besides those sad moments, this story has fun, romance, comedy and it motivates gay men to come out, accept themselves, be proud and raise their voice, because it shows India is finally changing! 

This show gives us incredible experience we never had until now. 

Nupur Asthana’s Romil and Jugal is a powerful show. It pushes people to think and acknowledge the truth. It makes them feel the pain of those innocent people whose lives are full of complications, challenges and tragedies. This show is definitely gonna touch everyone’s hearts.

Actors Rajeev Siddhartha and Manraj Singh have done justice to their characters. They have performed from their inner souls. These actors are not just the artists of Cinema, they are the artists of society and the nation.

Kudos to the amazing team of Romil and Jugal. The director Nupur Asthana has remarkably performed and the actors have given their perfect.

Romil and Jugal is for everyone, not just homosexuals. Watch this with your friends, parents and family.

It’s not less than a full-fledged Bollywood movie. It was actually scripted as a movie.   It’s pathetic that such progressive and meaningful cinema couldn’t be released as a movie. The Censor Board is a shame for our country. Thanks to digital media, which is an easy way to broadcast and reach to people. Watch these episodes, like them, share them widely!

Romil and Jugal has the potential to change the prejudiced mindset of Indians.

Episode 01
Episode 02

Episode 03

Romil And Jugal Shows Mirror to the Society : Rajeev Siddhartha

Romil And Jugal love story, the web series breaks the stereotypes and myths about homosexuality in the Indian society.

The actor Rajeev Siddhartha, who plays Romil, told IANS, “One of the very interesting parts of my character is how he discovers his sexual orientation and because of the social pressure, he could not come out and deal with the fact that he is homosexual until he meets Jugal.”

“That is one of the realities where in our society at times, we fail to deal with our orientation thinking this is all wrong because our mind is conditioned in a certain way. Here (in the Indian society) homosexuality is a taboo. So, this web series shows a mirror to the society in an entertaining manner.”

To establish anything unconventional, one needs parents’ support. His thoughts?

“I studied and worked as an investment banker before deciding to take up acting as my profession. When I told my parents, their first reaction was, ‘Have you lost your mind? You are leaving a great career, a steady job for acting, which has no stability and you know no one in the industry?’ Rajeev recalled.

“Staying focused at that time, convincing them and finding my way to live my dream was a task. The best part is… my parents are proud of me now,” he added.

“Getting a role in a film is tough anyway because of huge competition in the film industry. Having said that, I don’t think people will not cast me because I played a gay character on screen. Times are changing and now films are more character-driven. So if someone will find potential in me, I believe they will cast me in a film,” he said.

Produced by Ekta Kapoor and directed by Nupur Asthana, Romil and Jugal will stream on Alt Balaji app from April 16.



Flash Mobs: Progressive and powerful way to spread awareness

Every year, LGBT youth organisations Yaariyan and Harmless Hugs lead a team of 35 to 50 dancers in a flash mob. The event, recently organized in Thane, Mumbai is held every year at various public places in Delhi and Mumbai.

Mumbai’s flash mobs have been organized by Yaariyan since 2014 at Marine Drive, Dadar, Bandra Vashi and this year in Thane. The men and women dance to Hindi songs and aim to spread awareness about homosexuality and LGBT rights.

A mob is a progressive way to end ignorance in the society. It takes place at random popular public places, allowing it to engage people of all types, of different ages. The group dances to a number of Bollywood songs and ends the performance by shouting slogans in support of LGBT rights.

It’s amazing to see public watching this event. Someone is shocked, sweating and some are smiling. But it’s unlikely that any homophobic person hates this because these mobs are so beautiful and powerful, they push people to embrace homosexuality.

Kudos to Yaariyan and Harmless Hugs and those awesome participants.

Watch more videos on youtube searching keywords delhi/mumbai lgbt flash mob. Like and share widely.

Delhi based Harmless Hugs is an expansive space that empowers members of the LGBT community and its allies.

Mumbai based Yaariyan is a Humsafar Trust Youth Initiative that was initiated to understand current trends and behavior of LGBT youth. The Yaariyan Core Team currently comprises a group of ten LGB-identified youth between the ages of 18 and 28 years.

International Commission of Jurists asks Govt to repeal Section 377.

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), an international human rights NGO of lawyers and judges, has urged the Indian government to abolish Section 377 that criminalises homosexuality with a  provision of lifetime imprisonment.

The Telegraph reports the ICJ recommended that Indian authorities end discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in the formal justice system.

The report said, “Repeal Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and vaguely worded criminal laws that invite discriminatory application, or substantially revise them to ensure there is no scope for abuse in their enforcement,”

The 60-page report – Unnatural Offences: Obstacles to Justice in India Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity – documents the challenges “queer persons” in the country often face.

The ICJ said its study was based on 150 interviews across nine cities, including with people identified as LGBT and those who may not fit any of these categories. It said most such people face problems while trying to access justice, starting from the impact of laws to police harassment and discrimination.

Sam Zarifi, the ICJ’s Asia director, said, “Criminalisation, police violence, and the prejudiced attitudes of officials… have a profoundly detrimental impact on the ability and willingness of queer persons to resort to legal avenues to obtain justice. The systemic discrimination and violence faced by queer persons in India, and the challenges they face accessing justice, are clearly contrary to India’s international human rights law obligations and the Indian Constitution.”

The report has made several recommendations to Indian govt including:

  • Ensure police officers promptly register and investigate any complaint regarding violence on queer people.

  • Provide legal and sensitisation training relating to sexual orientation and gender identity to lawyers and judges

  • Make outreach programmes to facilitate queer individuals’ access to the justice system.
  • Repeal section 377

The ICJ said Indian authorities had an “obligation” to “respect, protect and fulfil” the rights to equality before the law and freedom from discrimination; including the right to life, freedom from torture and “other ill-treatment” of “queer persons”.

Source: The Telegraph

​Health Ministry Resource Material tells same-sex attraction and relationship is normal and alright.

The Centre has launched a nationwide programme to end the misconceptions and ignorance among youth. About 1.6 lakh young boys and girls will work as peer educators to adolescents and respond to their queries on key health issues including sexual, physical and mental changes, nutrition and addiction.

The resource material prepared for these educators that was unveiled by Health Secretary C K Mishra treats the issue of homosexuality in the righteous way.

The kit explains the adolescents can feel attraction for same or opposite sex and it’s normal. Crucial in relationships is love, mutual consent, trust and respect.

The resource kit says, “Yes, adolescents frequently fall in love. They can feel attraction for a friend or any individual of the same or opposite sex. It is normal to have special feelings for someone. It is important for adolescents to understand that such relationships are based on mutual consent, trust, transparency and respect. It is alright to talk about such feelings to the person for whom you have them but always in a respectful manner.”

The resource material also opposes gender stereotypes.

“A boy can cry to give vent to his feelings. He can also be soft-spoken or shy. Being rude and insensitive is not a sign of masculinity. It is alright for boys to like things like cooking and designing that are normally associated with girls; adopting the role of the other gender does not mean that he is not male. The same applies for girls who talk too much or like to dress like boys or play games like boys. It is wrong to label such people as ‘sissy’ or ‘tomboy’.

The resource material in Hindi is going to be circulated to states as part of the adolescent peer-education plan.This group of 1.65 lakh educators from young generation itself are called “Saathiya”

The peer educators who will be trained by the health department with the help of the resource material given out by the Centre will do voluntary work. They are being trained under the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK).

The resource kit comprises an activity book, Bhranti-Kranti game, question-answer book and Peer Educator Diary.While short films will be played by the peer educators at their group meetings, the activity book and games will bring about discussion and resolve adolescent queries.

The adolescents who are unable to interact with the peer educators can access the information through the free mobile app as well as a toll-free helpline. The mobile app is ‘Saathiya Salah’.

“Despite the expansion of media, there are many unanswered questions in the minds of young people in villages. Saathiya will address these questions. We are also talking about behavioural change and a change in thinking,” Secretary Mishra said.

The section also deals with awareness about HIV and STDs, use of pills and condoms,  listing masturbation as one of the topmost options for practising “safe sex”. It also talks about addiction, smoking and alcohol laying down their harmful effects.

While section 377 still criminalizes homosexuality as ‘unnatural’, this small but progressive step forward by centre is applaudable.

Download the Saathiya app here:

This Cute Comic Book based on Two-Dads Family educates children about homosexuality

“Daddy’s Roommate”- a comic book which explains how a family with homosexual parents is a normal and happy family, addresses a young boy whose divorced father now lives with his boyfriend. This book breaks several myths and stereotypes about homosexuality.

The best thing about this book is it’s a children’s comic book. Educating children about homosexuality is very crucial to end ignorance and prejudice; to build a hate-free inclusive and educated society.

Daddy’s Roommate was one of the first children’s books in America to portray homosexuality in a positive light; the two men in the book do the same things heterosexual couples do, taking care of the house and the children.

The child says in this book, “Homosexuality is just another type of love. My dad and his friend are happy together. And i am happy with them.”

An imgur user ‘usernumberseven’ shared the German Version of this book with English Translations. Here is a glimpse: 

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In the year 1991, American author Michael Willhoite published this book. This book came out at a time, when America  had a homophobic and ignorant society. And so it was the one of the most challenging books of 90s America. It also became a point of discussion in the 2008 US Presidential Elections. The book played a great role to end ignorance and homophobia in American society.

Six years after writing and illustrating Daddy’s Roommate, Michael Willhoite wrote a sequel to the book called ‘Daddy’s Wedding.’

Buy these books here:

Nagpur City’s Second LGBT Pride March 

Hundreds of people marched in Nagpur’s second LGBT pride parade to give the message of equality and acceptance. India’s first gay royal to come out of the closet – Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil — flagged off the march. 

A Youngster Venkatesh Kodukula tells,  “This is my first visit to Nagpur and I am amazed to see the enthusiasm of the community here. It’s good to see so many youngsters coming out in the open and acknowledging their sexual orientation.”
Prince Manvendra shares a message through this pride, which is concerned with the problems within the community, “If LGBTQ people want to be accepted by others, they need to come out from the psychological ghetto and educate themselves to break the shackles of fear and ostracism.”

Straight people also participated in the pride march to show their support for the community. A student of NKP Salve Institute, Surabhi Mitra, said, “I have been a supporter of LGBTQ rights ever since one of my close friends came out to me. My friends and I are here today to celebrate them and to show the community that they are not alone in this fight for equality.”

No Entry: Homophobic Cafes And Their Hilarious Excuses

Discriminatory and regressive attitude among staff of some bars and cafes is really pathetic. There are so many restaurants which claim to be very modern and inclusive but in real, they are very hollow and intolerant.

“Stags are not allowed because women are vulnerable and might feel unsafe”, “Straight men might pretend to be a gay couple to get entry.” These are some awkward excuses which hyopcritic bar owners make for discriminating against homosexual men or couples.

Many bars and cafes use ‘no stags’ policies, which is unfair for all men. The policy means single, duo or group of men are not allowed to enter, to maintain the ‘boy-girl ratio’ and to ensure safety of women. 

Such a discrimination is immoral and unconstitutional. If this is right thing to do, lets ban stags from Cinema halls, shopping malls, offices and even roads too, so that women would feel safe!  

“We ban stags from bars or cafes because men can get aggressive after they drink.” Nonsense! A bar is not a place to judge a man’s character. If a man respects women, he would do that even if he is drunk. And if someone is characterless, he would misbehave everywhere, not just in bars. And drunk girls also get unruly and might create nuisances.

A cafe or bar’s motive is to eat-drink, dance, have some fun and return home. Keeping someone out on basis of advanced possibilities is ridiculous.

If some men misbehave or something disturbing happens, it’s the duty of staff to tackle that, which should be well trained. They need to form some mechanisms to ensure safety of women rather than balantly refusing men to enter. Its immoral as well as unconstitutional.

Article 15(2) states that [No citizen shall, on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to  – (a) access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment]

On Valentines Day, two gay men were denied entry to a bar in Delhi when they said they were a couple. They were mocked by the staff and were told, “only couples are allowed”, by which they meant, only a man and a woman.

The bar owner explains, we denied entry to them because only we ‘thought‘ they were pretending to be gay as its a ‘convenient‘ way to get entered. 

Oh Really? This is not US or UK, where men pretend to be gay to get benefits. This is India, being gay or even pretending this is stigmatized and full of complications. Straight men would better choose any female friend or cousin with them to get entry before thinking about pretending gay. 

And how do you ensure someone is faking to be gay. On what grounds you claim they are pretending to be a couple? Do you have any test for this? Why dont you get such doubts about straight couples, who are more likely to fake to enter as a couple. It is also possible that gay men pretend to be straight, entering with their any girl- friend. But straight men pretending to be gay, it’s unlikely. Banning gay couples, airily considering them straight is unacceptable.

If you still don’t get it, discover a test to determine someone’s sexuality or ask your guests to bring a ‘sexuality’ Card with them for proof!

Dear Bar Owners, don’t try to justify yourself awkwardly to hide your bigoted mindset.

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