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Delhi University’s ICC Attends Gender Sensitisation Programme

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Anjali Gopalan, founder of the Naz Foundation Trust, addressed a Gender Sensitisation Programme at Delhi University. She highlighted the role of the Internal Complaint Committee in fostering inclusivity. Gopalan emphasised the need for uniform codes of conduct, backed by her experiences, urging for the unlearning of social norms and promoting equal rights for all.

The Naz Foundation (India) Trust on Friday, 22nd March, conducted a gender sensitisation seminar for members of the University of Delhi’s Internal Complaint Committee (ICC). The event took place at the Department of Botany, North Campus and also saw attendance by members of the current Delhi University Student Union.

Anjali Gopalan, the speaker of the event, established the Naz India in 1994 to develop sensitivity and address HIV/AIDS and sexuality. Naz india conducts awareness and support sessions for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as counselling and referral for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Ms Gopalan talked about the general nature of the ICC around the country and the role that they play in making the academic environment at various levels more inclusive and accepting to the gender diversity.

The ICC throughout the Delhi University Campuses and its different colleges do not have a uniform code of conduct. Due to this, while dealing with the gender-sensitive matters of discovering their identity and HIV-related discussions. The program hosted an insightful delivery by Ms Gopalan, where she talked about various delicate issues and answered questions like what to do to make the environment of the ICC more approachable, how the training of the personnel contributes to enhanced outcomes of the help provided along with the general nature of the change that has taken place throughout the years in the direction towards making gender-neutral safe places around the country.

Ms. Gopalan’s answers were backed by years of experiences advocating for and fighting for the queer community. She covered aspects ranging from adult social circles to primary school settings and the challenges they impose, preventing people from the LGBTQ+ community from exercising their rights. Some of the topics along which the discussion that followed centred around the unlearning and re-learning of rigid social norms, language and pronouns and the resistance they put against the suppression and the existing hostilities in the current environment that others everything that does not fit the conventional norms.

In conversation with DU Beat, while talking more on the subject matter, Ms Gopalan said:

I have been working for the awareness programs since 1987. It’s been an incredible journey in many ways for me it is a matter of rights, everything is about whether for an animal or for a human. I think everyone should have access to rights. To me, I am still amazed that even now people of the community in our country don’t have the same rights. I do not understand why and how can we as people deny our own people the rights that everyone takes for granted.”

Anjali Gopalan, Naz India

Ms. Gopalan’s impassioned advocacy for equal rights resonated deeply with attendees, serving as a powerful reminder of the ongoing journey towards equality. Naz India is now aiming at promoting this initiative in individual colleges’ ICCs as well.

As the event concluded, participants were inspired to continue engaging in open dialogue and striving for greater inclusivity within their respective academic environments. Ms Gopalan’s address stands as a testament to the enduring commitment to advocating for the rights of marginalised communities and building a society where everyone is valued and respected, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

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Divya Malhotra

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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