LGBT community to raise funds for acid attack victims

When we are both forced to hide behind a mask and undergo the same pain, how can we not help them, asks equal rights activist Harrish Iyer

At a time when they themselves could use all the help they can get to decriminalise gay sex and fight all the stigmas attached to them, the LGBT community has decided to highlight the plight of acid attack victims and collect funds for them.

At an annual event called Dirty Talk — named thus as they discuss important issues that others don’t want to talk about in public — which will be held in Lower Parel on Saturday, members of the community will discuss the suffering that acid attack victims go through.

five acid attack victims
Changing perceptions: A photoshoot featuring five acid attack survivors, conducted by photographer Rahul Saharan under the aegis of Chhaon, a support centre for acid attack survivors, went viral on social media recently.

Activist says
Equal rights activist Harrish Iyer, who will also take part in the event, said, “Both homosexuals and acid attack victims are forced to live their lives behind a mask. Many of us pretend to be heterosexual to avoid being discriminated against, and acid attack victims hide their faces. We both need support and when we suffer the same pain, how can we not understand their needs and help them?”

While the LGBT community itself faces discrimination and needs funds to fight its case in the Supreme Court, organise rallies and raise awareness on the need to decriminalise gay sex, part of the amount raised from the Rs 400 ticket for the event will be used to help acid attack victims.

A television star is also slated to be present for the event, but confirmation is awaited from her end. A member of the community said stories of certain acid attack victims will be read out at the event and attendees will be made aware of the agony, pain and trauma that these people have to go through. Attendees will also be encouraged to support them both financially and otherwise.

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