Student Awareness Programs
BDS has worked with several colleges and is approaching schools to talk about LGBTQ issues and sensitise them towards their LGBTQ peers. Severalstudents who study in these institutions face a lot of discrimination and violence due to their gender and sexual identities. We have worked in three colleges so far to raise awareness about the mental health of students and the intolerance they face. So far the response has been extremely positive, and we have seen change in the students who are very interested and are trying to be sensitive and break out of social norms. We feel this is an extremely important program because the youth definitely have a big role to play in the societies of tomorrow. Apart from this we are also laying stress and trying to work towards the formation of an LGBTQ sexual harassment cell that is sensitive and works towards delivering justice for same-sex violence (laws absent in the IPC) and violence towards trans persons.
Neighbourhood sensitization Programs
We carry out sensitisation workshops every month in a different neighbourhood or para. Here we go around the neighbourhood engaging with residents, inviting them to join us for a discussion about LGBTQ issues.
Family Sensitization Programs
Every few months we organise a workshop where we invite community members to bring their families. A lot of confusion and conflict are addressed. Families which feel isolated by societal norms, realise that LGBTQ is not anomaly but people who have existed for centuries, and continue to as a united whole.
Police Sensitization Programs
We have been working with the South District Commissioner to reach out to the Police Departments which fall under South Kolkata. So far we have had workshops with 9 police stations to discuss police violence, laws and other violence that LGBTQ persons face so that they are treated as unacceptable criminal activity by the law. We also talk about the discrimination faced by LGBTQ, in particular trans sex workers. There is an incredible amount of violence that goes unnoticed by law officials due to the stigma related to sex work.