Despite the torrential rains, more than 150 people participated in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI) pride march in Pune on Sunday morning.
The 6th edition of the March saw active participation by three corporates—IBM, Thoughworks and Symantec-with employees of these companies sporting banners and t-shirts, and walking in solidarity with members of the community.
Bindumadhav Khire, president of Samapathik Trust, the organiser of the March, said inclusivity at the workplace was the theme of the March this time.
He said that they had approached the Human Resources departments of the companies and asked for their participation. Other than these companies, they could also manage to rope in friends in other firms to participate and spread the word.
Khire said that the focus of the March was to bring the community to the mainstream. Though for Pune, this was the first participation by the corporate sector, other cities such as Hyderabad and Bengaluru have seen similar participation earlier.
Khire said that attendance was not as expected due to the rains. Participants from Mumbai, in particular, were held up due to the downpour. The March had started at around 10.45 am from JM Road and after going through Fergusson College Road, it had terminated at the starting point. Most participants said that they had come to show solidarity with the cause.
Khire hoped to take the relation with the corporate sector further. He said that in the coming weeks, the organisers would be approaching the companies to explore various options on how to take the cause forward. He also said that the trust would be interested in holding discussions, film screenings and awareness programmes among the general employees of these companies on a periodical basis.