Pride March Held In Pimpri's Narrow Lanes To Foster Public Sensitivity: 'Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Homophobia Has To Go!'

Pride March Held In Pimpri's Narrow Lanes To Foster Public Sensitivity: 'Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Homophobia Has To Go!'

The march commenced from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Chowk, passing through Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre, Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital (YCMH), and Vallabh Nagar ST Stand

Gaurav KadamUpdated: Monday, December 18, 2023, 02:42 PM IST
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Pride March Held In Pimpri's Narrow Lanes To Foster Public Sensitivity: 'Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Homophobia Has To Go!' | Gaurav Kadam

The fifth edition of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Pride March echoed with chants of "Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Homophobia has to go!", "Prem mhanje prem asta tumcha amcha same asta", "I'm gay, that's okay", "Maro taali bajao seeti LGBT LGBT", and "Baghtay kay samil vha". The march commenced from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Chowk, passing through Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre, Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital (YCMH), and Vallabh Nagar ST Stand. This year marked the march's debut through the narrow lanes of Pimpri, bustling with college students and the general public.

Anil Ukarande, the Yutak Charitable Trust founder and organiser of the march, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "It was a fantastic experience. Nearly 200 people joined, making it the largest Pride March in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Our goal is to raise public awareness about the presence of the LGBT community and celebrate the Supreme Court's decision affirming the rights of transgender individuals in heterosexual relationships to marry. By marching through Pimpri's narrow lanes and passing hospitals like DY Patil and YCMH, we aimed to highlight the community's ongoing struggle for equal access to healthcare, addressing discrimination."

Gaurav Kadam

Gaurav Kadam

Bindumadhav Khire, LGBTQ activist and director of the Bindu Queer Rights Foundation, emphasised the event's significance, noting, "I was delighted to witness young community members actively participating without masks. Moreover, having two legally married trans individuals, post the Supreme Court ruling, as grand marshals during the march, sends a powerful message. It signifies our commitment to relationships, similar to straight couples. I hope to see more cities across Maharashtra organising such pride walks annually."

A family, in solidarity with their daughter, took part in the march. Gauri Datar, the mother, expressed support, stating, "Our entire family stands in support of our daughter in this march. We stand with the LGBT community and always will. We participate in all marches in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. I urge everyone to accept individuals from this community without discrimination."

Representing Sweekar, an NGO advocating for familial acceptance, a spokesperson shared, "It was heartening to witness the enthusiasm of young individuals advocating for themselves. We envision a society so inclusive that our children won't need to assert themselves in such ways. My hope for the future is for a day when marches like these aren't necessary."

Gaurav Kadam

Gaurav Kadam

An environmental engineer, who opted to remain anonymous, stated, "This was my third pride, the first in Pimpri-Chinchwad. There was a vibrant energy, and meeting numerous people was gratifying. It's important to keep on changing the locations to expand the movement's visibility beyond certain upmarket areas."

Sharing the experience of a first-time attendee, BAMS student Gaurang Deodhar expressed, "It was my inaugural Pride March. Chanting slogans felt incredible; it unleashed myriad emotions within me, a release of frustration against the homophobia I've encountered. I felt a sense of relief."

Trans Married Couple Leads The March As Marshals

Trans Married Couple Leads The March As Marshals

Trans Married Couple Leads The March As Marshals | Gaurav Kadam

In a moving display of celebration and unity, Amruta Pawar (26) and her husband Prem Jabade (28), a recently married transgender couple, took charge at the forefront of the march. Holding the vibrant rainbow flag and a copy of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution, they led the procession. The march commenced with a collective reading of the Preamble and concluded with a resonating rendition of 'Hum Honge Kamayab,' symbolising hope and solidarity.

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