Gender stereotyping, body shaming, and awareness about the LGBTQ community are topics being widely discussed across the world. Now, also at Rendezvous 2016 — the annual fest of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.
A social theme is picked every year. The institute has earlier focussed on women empowerment. Last year, the theme was child labour. This year, it’s Pehchaan (identity).
“Stereotyping — of gender, body or sexual preferences — lowers the youth’s confidence. And anyway, who is to define what beauty is, who one should love or how to behave?” says Himanshi Gautam, the social coordinator of the fest.
“Our earlier themes were relevant, too, but clichéd. Social campaigns were more of a responsibility than being about engaging with a crowd and spreading a message. This year, we’re pursuing that... something relatable for the youth,” adds Gautam.
Don’t expect discussions only. The student coordinators plan a gay parade, free hugs campaign, anonymous masked confessions, and a girls’ cricket match with boys as cheerleaders.
Rishabh Sanghi, the lead coordinator, shares, “We may even hold some events around acid attack victims to show people how incidents like these change one’s life. We’re promoting the campaign as ‘Pride For All’ on social media because stereotyping is not the only thing we want to address.”
Then what? “We want to tell people that you are who you are, and you should be proud of yourself,” adds Sanghi.