Activists have launched an urgent plea for action for human rights in India.
The women’s organisation Sangini has presented a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) about the plight of gay people in the country.
Homosexuality is illegal in India and has been since colonial days.
This follows a petition made last month for a change in the law by high profile Indian academics and campaigners to the central government to modernise this ailing piece of legislation.
It is seen as huge contradiction for this supposedly democratic and progressive nation to possess such repressive legislation.
The law however is only the tip of the ice berg for the majority of gay people in India. Society and culture “are extremely family oriented. With no adequate insurance and health care systems in place, families build the social security net. Falling out of the family set-up is equivalent to loosing ones social security.
Women, who are not the way their families and society want them to be, often lose out immediately on this social security network.” according to Maya Shanker of the Sangini trust.
The traditional, conservative nature of the majority of Indian life thus condemns millions of LGBT people to extreme persecution and oppression.
A change in the law must undoubtedly be the first step in gaining acceptance and justice for this embattled community.
She also highlighted sexual health issues as a massive issue for this community. India has possibly the fastest growing HIV problem and it is only just emerging as an issue that politicians are willing to tackle particularly in the north of the country.
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