Written by Amandeep
THE SECOND edition of ‘Mooknayak’, a Marathi LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex) literary festival, is being organised on Sunday at Jyotsna Bhole Hall on Tilak Road by Samapathik Trust, a Pune-based organisation working for the rights and health issues of the LGBTQI community.
The event aims at providing a platform for the representation of original and translated Marathi literature, which relates to the LGBTQI community. Alongside literature, the festival also highlights discussions about current issues relating to the community, experience sharing, poetry recitation and a one-act play.
Discussions on current issues, such as the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), will also be held. Volunteers from hospitals will also talk about the inclusion of the LGBTQI community in their work environments.
The festival draws its name from the fortnightly publication of Dr B R Ambedkar, which aimed at giving a voice to the underprivileged sections in society. “The idea behind this festival is to provide a platform for presenting Marathi literature related to LGBTQI issues. There are also works that have been translated from other languages by authors, which would have otherwise been inaccessible to Marathi audience,” said Bindumadhav Khire, president of Samapathik Trust.
Khire added, “We are holding discussions on the topics of Transgender Persons Act, CAA and NRC. Some of them will also make presentations on their stance.”
Jaswand, a one-act play written by Khire, will also be staged at the festival.
The story of the play revolves around an intersex girl, who is an athlete and goes on to compete at an international level. “It is an hour-long solo act. It has been written with fragments taken from real-life stories. When the girl goes to play at international events, tests are conducted to determine her intersexuality. No one supports her at the time. She has a gay friend, who turns out to be her only supporter,” said Parikshit Shete, an actor who will perform the play.
“The LGBTQI community faces numerous issues such as exclusion at workplaces, being overlooked for promotions, not being allowed to adopt children, bullying in schools and other educational institutions. They face discrimination in all sectors,” Parikshit added.
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