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In a first,ILS to launch certificate course in gay rights,issues

Consider this. A classroom which will not just teach you rights and issues about the “third gender” but also have the community walk into the class room and talk about their problems.

Consider this. A classroom which will not just teach you rights and issues about the “third gender” but also have the community walk into the class room and talk about their problems.

Though Section 377 of the IPC was amended last year which has decriminalised non-heterosexual sex between consenting adults,civil rights for homosexuals have a long way to go: this is the underlying theme of a new initiative started by the Indian Law Society’s Law College (ILS) in Pune along with Samabhavana Society,an NGO for gay men which will commence next year.

“The course will lay stress on,among other things,rights and the problems faced by third gender,” said ILS associate professor Dr Sita Bhatia who will be the chief coordinator for the course.

The certificate course titled Certificate on Human Advocacy Resource Management will be jointly issued by the ILS college and the NGO at the end of the course.

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Under the aegis of Centre for Human Rights which commenced in 2008 in the college,the certificate course will address all the contemporary laws and rights in the present times.

Bhatia feels that a theoritical and practical approach will individuals understand the issue better.

“As there have been a number of developments in the area of human rights,the six week course will have experts in the field talking about their theoretical experiences as well as NGOs working in the area interacting with the course students,” she added.


Secretary and executive officer Jasmir Thakur said such courses are essential for people to understand the social sector better.

“All contemporary issues will be addressed in the course which will be held at the weekend at the college and is open for all age groups above 18 years,’’said Thakur. A workshop ahead of the course will be conducted on January 22 to help gauge response in the society.

With help from advocate Vinay Menon,human resource representatives from MNCs,professors from Pune University from anthropology and politics Prof Ram Gambhir and Prof Mangesh Kulkarni,social activist Manisha Gupte from Masum and activist Tejaswi Sevekari who works in the red light area with sex workers,will be the key resource and course providers.


Sevekari who has been working in the area for the last 16 years says that there are several issues which need to be put forth while working in the area.

“To win the trust of the sex workers to their rehabilitation is a long process and a very patient approach is needed to achieve it,’’said Sevekari whose trust,Saheli,has members from the red light area as board members.

“Whether it the gay community from Samabhavana or the sex workers_ an interaction will be part of the course,” said Thakur. The course will focus on human advocacy which believes in safeguarding rights of the changing Indian society and help nurture commitment to social justice activism and empower a new generation of advocates for social change.

Bhatia said the workshop on January 22 will decide the number of students. The course can accommodate at least 75 students and will be made available for a fee structure of Rs 5000. “

The relatively legally nebulous areas of homosexual emancipation,surrogacy and live in relationships will also be touched upon in the course.


Course on sexuality
Will comprise:/b<>
* Rights of same sex persons: marriages,divorce,adoption,inheritance
* Rights of transgendered persons
Live in couples
* Gender empowerment

Human Rights
* Housing,finance/loans
* Migration
* Urbanisation

First published on: 28-12-2010 at 05:18 IST
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