Mumbai is known to be one of the safest cities in India, and most progressive. One can feel safe regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Though the laws and safety measures have changed for the better, we will consider this country to be free when society no longer differentiates in its treatment of people who may be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender.

Have you ever wondered: What are the laws and rights for the members of the community and what we all need to know to protect them and their rights?

It is questions like these that were answered at the Sunshine Festival by experts. Adv. Dimple Merchant also stated that new laws for same sex marriages are needed to make their lives a better life and though we may be behind than the West, things are definitely moving forward. Supporting the cause and idea behind the event was Capgemini. Satinder Kaur, who represented Capgemini stressed on how important it is to make inclusion a norm at workplaces and society. 

Discrimination should and can stop when we become more accepting of all the communities. With this thought, Madhurima Mazumdar, organised the Sunshine Festival over the weekend with the pure intention of reaching out to a larger audience and creating awareness about the LGBT community and actually trying to give the people a different view point if they had any doubts. 

For instance, “Does sexual orientation differ with gender identity”. This was an interesting topic as the audience seemed to really take back a lot of new thoughts. Dr Bhavi Mody, who moderated the panel and strongly supports inclusion, said “What is the need to label a child at birth? It has always been a part of our roots and now is the time to talk more about it and create awareness.” Adding to this, Dr. Ritu Palve explained how safe sex can be done, irrespective of the sexual orientation.

With so many different topics of discussion, the audience was left with many after thoughts.  Dr. Seema Negi pointed out that the LGBT community is the most marginalised and left out part of the society and how important it is to come together and rise up from being human to being humane and not separate and segregate the society. 

The place was buzzing with people coming in throughout the day as they enjoyed networking, visiting the unique stalls and clicking pictures at the specially created photo booth. The ones who came in early, stayed back till late evening to catch the performances by Shubhashish Uphadyay, who’s voice was very captivating, and the heart-touching playback theatre by Rangbhumi.