The latest to join the movement for the LGBTQ+ community are five students of KNC
Their collective, Nazariya — A Grassroots LGBT-Straight Alliance, is working for the issues of the LGBTQ+ community and other intersectional issues.Updated: Apr 11, 2018 12:00 IST
If you are a student of Delhi University, or remotely involved with LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and others) issues, you may have come across the mention of Nazariya — A Grassroots LGBT-Straight Alliance on social media. Comprising five students of Kamala Nehru College (KNC), this bunch is the latest to join the movement for the LGBTQ+ community in and around the campus. Here’s what you need to know about them:
Most people don’t even know the full form of LGBTQ, let alone their struggles and stories so we wish to raise awareness at grassroots level. — Saamiksha Tangri
Who are they?
“We’re a group of five students, all from Kamala Nehru College (KNC), who wanted to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members and their straight friends to be able to socialise,” says Saamiksha Tangri, who takes care of the communications manager’s part for the collective. “Most people don’t even know the full form of LGBTQ, let alone their struggles and stories so we wish to raise awareness at grassroots level.”
What do they do?
The alliance believes in being actively involved in not only the matters of the queer community but also social justice issues. They aim to offer a safe space to people for discussions, voicing their thoughts as well as support to the marginalised and those support inclusiveness.
In fact — active participation is a must. We tell people to not join us if they cannot fully commit. — Saamiksha Tangri
“Yes, we also touch upon other social justice matters, and this is what makes us different from other LGBTQ groups. Whether it was the Holi protest at Amar Colony or the recent DUTA protest, we actively extended our support to intersectional issues. In fact, active participation is a must. We tell people not to join us if they cannot fully commit to supporting various causes,” adds Tangri.
We’d wanted Nazariya to be an official society at KNC but we did not get approval from the panel of teachers. — Ruth Chawngthu
How do they do it?
The group, which initially started with six people now, has over a 100 members. From organising street plays and speaker sessions to sharing the narratives of queer members and partaking in protests, they work hard to do their bit in making society just and inclusive.
Their journey and challenges
Their journey hasn’t been easy. “We’d wanted Nazariya to be an official society at KNC but we did not get approval from the panel of teachers. We decided then that we would go independent and do what we can on our own,” says Ruth Chawngthu, co-founder and also a student of KNC. “It isn’t surprising when you come to think of it. A lot of queer groups don’t get support from their college authorities.” Trolls, too, are an issue. “People call us the KKK. When we partook in the Holi protest, some guys thought it funny to post our details on social media. It made me scared thinking that people could even find out where I live and turn up at my place,” shares Chawngthu.
The support is pouring in
There has been support from other queer communities. Nazariya, along with Miranda House Queer Collective, recently organised Kala and Kranti at the Lodhi Gardens. It was an evening of street plays, speaker session and music where theatre societies from Miranda House (MH) and Jesus and Mary College (JMC) performed their street plays on issues of sexuality.
“Our play was about breaking gender binary, so we thought that it would be the best way to contribute to the movement. Not only did we get to perform for the cause but we also got to show our work to trans people which was great,” says Richa Nanda, member and student PR of the MH theatre society. She adds, “There are queer people in my college, and after seeing their struggles I realise that they don’t even get respected as individuals.”