Saathi, a queer community group, screens a video featuring people talking about their first love at the institute’s orientation programme last week. Ten per cent of freshers enroll themselves as members
Last Thursday, when around 500 high-school pass-outs saw a video called First Love at the freshmen orientation evening at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay in Powai, little did they know that their life would change forever. The video, produced by Saathi — a queer group within the campus — showcases members of the LGBT community as well as straight men talking about the first time they fell in love.
In the video, Aditya talks about how he got attracted to boys at a young age but restrained because he thought it wasn’t ‘right’
The video got such a stupendous response from the freshers that as many as 43 of them joined Saathi. This is the first time the Queer group asked people to get associated with them during a freshmen orientation programme.
The five minute-42 second video, which features people sharing their real-life love experience in four different languages has gone viral among the queer community after it was uploaded on You Tube.
According to Aaditya Shankar, convener of Saathi, a nearly four-year-old group, every year during the orientation programme, each club of IIT is given a slot to introduce themselves to freshers. “We showed the video as we wanted to connect with students.
The concept struck a chord with everyone and after the screening, there was a huge round of applause from students. First Love features people talking about their love life in Hindi, English, Marathi, and Telugu as these are the languages that are mostly spoken inside the campus,” Shankar told sunday mid-day.
Aditya, another member of Saathi, said that the group also distributed pamphlets to the students. “We have even posted phone numbers on pamphlets, so that students who want to talk to us anonymously can share their problems with us. We have realised that once you come out of the closet you are more confident.”