The year 2020, in its simplest technical terms, has been ragged. We’ve been dragged all over, rather relentlessly by Nature, who very evidently has seen it as the perfect time to showcase of its true powers. And whilst in this perpetual state of confinement we term as a ‘lock down’, we’ve all found, and are still finding, some semblance of our own leisure and comfort by forming our little bubbles.
Despite being in touch with the entire world, we’re all now trying to get in touch with our innermost selves. We want to see what really keeps us ticking. But not everyone’s a slick, seamless, functioning clock. We’re human – some of us do get stuck. And remember, none of us are the exact same clock – we’re running different times, we’ve got different hands. Some of us fit well on the left hand, and some on the right. And well, some of us are independent of these hands, and we want the world to know that, and more importantly, accept it.
Being an ally
At Citta India, where your mind is accepted as one of ours and nurtured as the same, comfort lies in knowing that we are here to help and people recognize that same thought. As part of our constant efforts to expand horizons and reach out to a wider crowd, we dedicated the month of June – now well known globally as Pride Month – to the cause of providing free therapy sessions to students of the LGBTQIA+ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual or Allied). This program was done in collaboration with 3 partner organizations, namely The Hank Nunn Institute, Safe Realm and The Insightful Mind.
For a community that has, for long stretches, been unfortunately suppressed by the orthodox Indian population, and that is now slowly finding its feet by being accepted and celebrated for who they are, having an ear to speak out to is very important. We all deserve support, regardless of how minimalist it may be or however minute our problems may be, and this exact emotion is what drove the campaign for Citta India.
Pride and No Prejudice supported 55 students of the community, from no less than 23 cities around the country. In totality, the program reached thousands of people, in what only bodes for a brighter future and larger possibilities when it comes to uplifting the LGBTQIA+ community and its people.
To our delight, a massive 75% of the students who took therapy sessions said that they would continue with therapy, which is a clear indication of the kind of impact the program had and will continue to have down the line. Having these students come back to us with such pleasant and constructive reviews only motivates us more in our fight to make this world an easier place to live in.
These sessions really helped the students find the strength to be intricate about their sexuality, how comfortable they are within themselves, the struggles they have in getting the common multitude to accept them and their constant effort in normalizing the thought that the people of this beautiful, revered community are but human beings – there lay no difference between you and them. As one of the students gleefully said – “It’s not everyday that you can talk about your sexuality openly, give yourself a chance to accept it, and take a step towards a better, brighter future.” We harmonize with these very thoughts!
The community responds
In terms of outreach, the campaign found its wings through the constant support of the partner organizations and through a relentless social media campaign, engaging as many people from the LGBTQIA+ community as possible through posts on mental health awareness, the different ways in which you could be a better ally and how issues one faces can be dealt with. The campaign hit its peak when we were featured exclusively on 94.3 Radio One Bangalore – India’s biggest English radio station. A positive outcome, even in its smallest form, is what we wanted and the response encourages more forays into such campaigns.
A note of thanks and hope
Bringing this circle to its natural conclusion, Citta India reiterates the fact that as human beings, we are all here to help each other take larger strides towards stability and peace, and help is always around the corner when you take a look. After all, even the best of clocks need someone to polish their edges and smooth out their routines when the going gets tough.