Sarwat’s video on homosexuality made a first step for change in the gay community in Raipur.
Two months ago, Sarwat Naqvi made a video on the hardships faced by the homosexual community in Chhattisgarh. The video – entitled “Homsexuals Seek An Identity” exposed the various discriminations this community is subjected to, and the lack of support it receives from the rest of society.
“I organized a screening of my video, together with Samata Mayla Mandal, a women’s Union. Around 45 people came, from diverse backgrounds. There was homosexual and transgender persons, but also local people, who wished to be informed on the particular life experience of this community,” said Sarwat.
After the screening, members of the audience, deeply moved by Sarwat’s report of daily abuses and discrimination, organized a peaceful demonstration in the streets of Raipur. Their action was a way to bring this issue, too often silenced and considered as taboo, into the public space.
Besides, numerous homosexuals who watched the movie became aware that they were not isolated, and that they could take action. MITWA (friend), a community based unit, got organized to create a space for this group to come together and discuss their own problems.
Thus, Sarwat’s video is an important start to bring about change for a community that faces entrenched prejudices in contemporary India. “Realizing that one can bring change with a video is an amazing experience,” said Sarwat.
In the year 2021-2022, Video Volunteers reached a huge number of people. Each video, on average, documented a problem, a ground reality that affected nearly 35,000 people. And we reported more than 1500 stories last year. Impacts achieved by our community correspondent have benefited 3.2 million people, in total.
Our community correspondents operate as citizen journalists in their own community and bring the issues to the larger world through video reports. As a part of this process of transformation, we include government officials to play an important part.