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The Eye Opening Reality


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About The Event

The Rotaract Movement is affiliated to the Rotary Movement. Young adults between the age group of 18-30 years form Rotaract Clubs and serve the community at different levels and avenues of service. We, at the Rotaract Club of Mumbai Shivaji Park are a bunch of enthusiastic Rotaractors, who strive to think out of the box and reach the deserving and needy. Since our inception, we have carried out activities for orphans, under privileged students, HIV+ve children, senior citizens, mentally challenged, etc. and we have also dealt with issues like child sexual abuse, stigma attached with HIV & AIDS, stray dogs, misconceptions regarding blood donation etc.


Currently, we are working on yet another fulfilling and satisfying project, “EYEOPENING REALITY”- A project organized to create awareness about LGBT (lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and trying to remove stigma associated with them in the minds of the public.


The Rotaract Club of Mumbai Shivaji Park in association with the Humsafar Trust is organizing a three session program to understand the LGBT community.


The main aims of the project are:


  • To develop a general awareness of the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgenders) community, their related issues and health care.


  • To bust general myths and misconceptions, facilitate a better interaction with the society and to help remove barriers they may face in the mainstream worksforce.


  • To lay the foundation for the free sharing of ideas which is the essence of a truly open society, tolerant to differences of race, religion, irrespective of gender preferences of an individual.


This project is divided into 3 stages:

 Session 1: 6th October 2013

Gender and sexuality workshop: Speakers: Selvan Anthony and Deepak Tripathi. To get acquainted with the whole community on a preliminary basis and understand the finer nuances.

Session 2: 12th October 2013

Visit to Humsafar Trust wherein we will watch a movie called “68 Pages” concerned with the health issues faced by the LGBT community followed by understanding the work culture of Humsafar trust – an NGO that deals with the LGBT community in five states.

Session 3: 20th October 2013

Panel discussion: Showcasing a play called 'Ek Madhav Baug' to be played by a very famous television and theatre artist Mona Ambegaonkar followed by a panel discussion with lawyers, doctors, psychologists, gay right activists amongst others to understand the different dimensions to the problem and how we can overcome these as a nation. The panel discussion will be held at Rachana Sansad Auditorium, Prabhadevi at 5.00 pm. No entry charges


Bios of Panelist


1) Harish Iyer

Harish Iyer is an activist for a number of socio-environmental issues. He is known for his work in the fields of child rights and LGBT rights. Pink Pages named him one of India’s seven most influential gays and lesbians.  

On 29 June 2013, The Guardian, the British national daily named him in the list of the 100 most influential LGBT people in the world for 2013. He is listed at number 71, and was the only Indian national in this list.


2) Urmi Jadhav

Urmi Jadhav is a transgender hijra activist who has worked for 12 years with Humsafar Trust. She began working as an outreach worker and soon became incharge of community interaction workshops and administrator assistant. She has also worked on project Sanjeevani – a support group for People Living with HIV, as an incharge for 5 years. For the last three years she has been working as the project counsellor in target intervention with MSM community. 

She has spoken on many platforms and panels about the human rights issues faced by the hijra community and is also the President of a hijra community based organization- Kinnar Kastoori.  A performing artist by hobby, she loves to choreograph dances and is also one of the core members of the dance troupe- Dancing Queens. Urmi has also appeared in a documentary- The Third Eye, Breaking Free and training film Aa Muskura.


3) Siddhant More

Siddhant is a Consultant with an Executive Search firm in Mumbai.He is a Commerce graduate with around 10 years of experience in recruitment, research and client servicing.

Siddhant is a Transman, undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), and is currently in a transition phase ( Female to Male Gender). Siddhant believes that Information & Knowlede is the key to Social Acceptance; to help people look beyond their bias and build support for the community. He spends time educating and creating awareness about Transgenders in general and SRS in specific, based on his experience and journey till date.


4) Sonal Giani

Sonal Giani holds a management degree in Hospitality and Hotel Administration. She currently works as an Advocacy Officer with the Humsafar Trust which works on Gender, Sexuality, Health and Human Rights of Sexual Minorities.

A proud and out bisexual, she is a part of 'Umang', which is a support group for Lesbians, Bisexual women and Trans persons. She is a core member of Yaariyan which a Youth group for LGBT individuals.

She is also the Executive Producer of the renowned play, Ek Madhav Baug. She has to her credit being on a prime time television show on Zee TV called "Connected Hum Tum" and will soon be seen in a Bollywood film.


5) Mona Ambegaonkar:

Mona Ambegaonkar made her debut as an actress/model in 1990. Since then she has acted in over 18 films including sritically acclaimed movies like "Mrityudand", "Hazar Chaurasi Ki Maa", "Mangal Pandey", "Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani" and the trend setting Marathi movie Bindhaast" for which she won the Critics’ Choice award.

On television she has acted in popular serials like "Dhadkan", "Amber-Dhara" "CID" and "Maryada: Lekin Kab Tak?"

Her theatre credits include works with Nadira Babbar and Makarand Deshpande, Bharat Dabholkar, Shivani Tibrewala, Rajit Kapur, Tom Alter and now Vijay Kenkre. She has also also written and acted in her own production at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland for which she received acclaim in the The Scotsman.

She has also written and produced a documentary series titled "Pandav Pratha".



Project Co-ordinator

Rtr Heena Gupta

Director - Professional Development

Rotaract Club of Mumbai Shivaji Park



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