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Bringing QUEER Communities Together: Humanising Lives' Baatcheet Initiative

Updated on: 05 September,2023 07:34 PM IST  |  Mumbai
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The surge of conversations surrounding LGBTQIA+ issues in India has sparked a glimmer of hope within the hearts of those who identify with this community.

Bringing  QUEER Communities Together: Humanising Lives' Baatcheet Initiative


Finally, there seems to be a ray of light shining upon their struggles, giving them a voice that longs to be heard. Yet, amidst this newfound visibility, the LGBTQIA+ community still faces significant disparities, battling against the currents of inequality and discrimination.

Humanising Lives launched its revolutionary program called Baatcheet, meaning "conversation" in Hindi. It was designed as a safe space where LGBTQIA+ individuals could come together, free from judgment or prejudice, to share their experiences and find solace in the presence of others who truly understood. Ekta envisioned Baatcheet as a support system that would provide the much-needed emotional nourishment for those navigating the complexities of their identity.

The organization became a sanctuary of compassion and healing, dedicated to empowering individuals and nurturing their emotional well-being.  Baatcheet has a  profound impact of the struggles faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, Ekta  knew that bringing them together was essential for their collective healing.

Baatcheet is foremost a support group for queer individuals. It is driven by empathy and a profound desire to let emotions flow freely. Experiences of queer people go beyond the refuge provided by diverse identities. People from the LGBTQIA+ community face unique struggles, can feel insecure, and find stigmas weighing them down on a day-to-day basis, stemming from the society they inhabit. Their experiences are far more intricate than the labels imposed upon them by a patriarchal cis-heteronormative society.

The Baatcheet sessions have brought about a wave of emotions that washed over the participants. For many, it was a mixture of excitement and trepidation. The weight of their past experiences and the fear of being vulnerable lingered in the air. Yet, within this space carefully crafted by Sushree Sahu Senior Psychologist and her team, a sense of belonging blossomed. Walls began to crumble, replaced by an atmosphere of trust and camaraderie.

Baatcheet is facilitated by Queer Advocates and Queer Counsellors who are also queer-affirmative practitioners. Their aim is to create a safe space where mental health and queerness are embraced and nurtured. Humanising Lives acknowledges that queer individuals often face erasure, emotional deprivation, and numerous challenges that can contribute to mental health conditions. They realise the importance of creating a safe space and the impact it can have on the people from the LGBTQIA+ community. One of Humanising Live’s Wellbeing Advocates, Navirah, remarked on how frequently people disclose the fact that they came with the intention to only listen but found a haven where for once they felt truly heard when they spoke of their experiences.

Priyanjul, one of the queer group facilitators at Humanising Lives, shared his perspective on the impact of Baatcheet. He remarked, "As a member of the community, I have been exposed to a wide range of experiences that I had not previously encountered. I have witnessed how the experiences of our community members in India can be both vastly different and surprisingly similar. It has been beautiful to watch the transformation of participants from uncertainty in the first session to exchanging contact information and building connections by the end."

The participants of Baatcheet have expressed their gratitude and growth through this program.

"I joined the queer support group organised by Humanising Lives and it was a deliberative and insightful experience for me. Not only was I able to share my experiences with others but also reconciled that many of the people’s experiences are similar to me and that we are all - in one way or the other - along the same journey. I also happened to make friends with people from the support group and it is enriching to have them in my life. I’d like to thank Humanising Lives, especially Lakshita, for their efforts to organise such a group and be able to sustain it with respectful and cordial coordination with all the participants.” - From S.M.

"I still remember the first session, I felt like an imposter, who knew nothing about the LGBTQ community, and wasn’t even comfortable saying I was gay! But the group instantly put me at ease and made me feel welcome. As went through the sessions every week, I was able to have a conversation about various issues that one faces as a queer person, right from the time you come out to yourself and then to friends and family and beyond. but by the end of the program, I could confidently say that I was gay with a sense of confidence, and knew the various hurdles that I had to overcome in due time."- From RT

With each passing week, the participants found their voices growing stronger. They discovered newfound confidence in expressing their truth, gradually shedding the weight of societal expectations that had burdened them for far too long. The support group became a tapestry of resilience, woven together with threads of vulnerability and understanding.

Through Baatcheet, Huamnisng Lives team witnessed the transformative power of conversation. They witnessed lives being reclaimed, shattered self-esteem being rebuilt, and isolated souls finding a sense of community. Laughter mingled with tears, as stories of resilience and hope intertwined, creating a tapestry of shared experiences that illuminated the path towards healing.

Human interaction is the crux of our existence, and Humanising lives only provides the human safety that we all seek by being present and listening deeply into their clients. Deep and interested listeners have become a rarity in today’s times , don’t you think? We have indeed stopped emotionally nourishing another human being by just being present and listening to them. Most importantly, Humanising Lives also ensures that our assistant psychologists are trained and educated about the queer community before working with people from the community.

Humanising Lives continues to strive for a world where LGBTQIA+ individuals are welcomed with open arms, their mental and emotional well-being safeguarded. Ekta and her team work tirelessly, breaking down barriers and raising awareness through their outreach efforts. Their mission is to create a safer, more inclusive society, one where the LGBTQIA+ community can flourish and thrive.

For Ekta, the journey of Baatcheet was both humbling and awe-inspiring. Witnessing the participants evolve from uncertain individuals to a united force filled her heart with profound joy. She had created a haven for the LGBTQIA+ community, where their pain was acknowledged, their stories were honoured, and their dreams were nurtured.

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