THE MUCH-AWAITED Agaz Fest 2017 of Panjab University, organised by the Panjab University Student Council (PUSC), began with a bang on Monday. The first day was themed on Evolution transcribing change in society, thoughts and feelings towards women and transgenders. The events strongly opposed crimes against women and came out in support of the transgender community.
The events included a music concert by the band, Rudra, and a glittering fashion show based on women’s empowerment. What was so special about the fashion show? A team of transgenders, Akshida, led the show. Students from different batches and streams of the university were also part of the fashion show choreographed by university student Simaran and the University Institute of Fashion Designing.
Protecting the interests and rights of minority groups or special communities who have been dominated and threatened due to political and social norms, this was not the first time that the PUSC or the campus came forward in support of the transgender community. Last year, too, the university hosted a fashion show with transgenders as lead participants. And, PUSC, along with the students, came out in full support of their special participants, who put their best foot forward.
Students, who were part of the fashion show, said, “We like the theme of the show very much, something that is important to understand. We are performing for the first time and are very excited. Also, we are proud to be part of such an event and institution which respects all unbiased of preference, minority or others, in particular.”
A transgender participant, Dhananjay, who not only sashayed down the ramp as a showstopper but was also the winner of last year’s fashion show, said, “We are not bound to entertain people or make a living by singing and dancing. We are also capable of presenting ourselves in a respectful manner and showcase our manners to earn a designated position in society. We have a right to equality and do what we prefer and are good at.”
The participant was praised by one and all for her breathtaking performance, especially her mesmerising stride. As many as 10 transgenders took part in the show.
The fashion show started one-and-a-half hours late as members of some opposition student unions raised objection over the high volume of sound at the venue. Police were called and heated arguments were exchanged between the organisers and student union members. Later, those opposed to the fashion show were whisked away by the police.