Last year, a very ordinary Sunday saw the launch of the Ally March culture in Manipal, in association with the Q&A Network. After almost a year, School of Communication (SOC) had the second edition of the Pride support Ally March on 4th February 2018, as a pre-event for their media fest Article -19.
Students from different colleges of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) had joined and begun the march from SOC to Country Inn. There was a huge turn out this year, which contributed to making the March even more colourful and gleeful. With balloons, posters, and bright rainbow-coloured attires, we saw a lot happy faces painted with the colour of love, marching for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Even though the march lacked a little enthusiasm this time, it got the support from the Q&A Network Manipal, which resulted in a great success. The members of Q&A Network marched along with the other students of MAHE making sure that the cause for which they have raised their voices reached all. Everyone who participated in the march seemed very enthusiastic about it. “I’m glad to be a part of this Ally March today. It feels great to see how today’s youth is taking a stand for our fellow friends who are an equal part of the society as we are”, said Sethu Pradeep, a first-year student from SOC.
Shagun Nevatia, one of the founders of the Q&A Network, spoke about it and how it has gained popularity and support in the past year. While having a talk with him about the situation of the LGBTQ+ community in India, he mentioned how Indian culture is very acceptable to the transgender community and how Indian government sees it as a third gender. It’s sad to see that even after the acceptance of transgender community by our culture and enough support from the government, people in our country are not accepting of it. While talking about how the society is not accepting the transgender community, Kaavash Bahl said, “People who say that they are okay with ‘L’, ‘G’, ‘B’, but not the ‘T’ of the ‘LGBTQ+’ community, actually haven’t welcomed the ‘LGB’ too.”
As mentioned by one of the organisers, the whole purpose of the Ally March is to generate awareness to the people about the LGBTQ+ community and help the community lead a free life comfortable in their own body. People should treat this whole situation as normally as they drink their chai every morning.