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The India Network For Sexual Minorities
is a collective national effort by sexual minorities
to ensure equality for themselves in all spheres of life, free from discrimination.

Coming together for Equality

Membership Information

INFOSEM is a membership organization comprised of sexual minority (SM)-serving (e.g., lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexed, et al) community-based organizations (CBO). Membership is
by invitation only, which is
extended to the CBO by the Governing Council.

Non-governmental organizations
with established SM programs can
be considered for membership if
the SM program is led by the SM community and the program will be turned into a CBO.

SM CBOs that are interested in
joining INFOSEM should contact a local INFOSEM member for information. A membership
application will be forwarded to
the CBO from the regional
governing council representative member (RGCM).

Membership Information doc

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Training programme for
the transgendered

Stenographers Guild to impart office management skills

Staff Reporter
CHENNAI: About 20 transgendered persons will receive training in office management skills over the next two months at the Stenographers' Guild.

Inaugurating the training programme here on Monday, Commissioner of Police, Greater Chennai, Letika Saran told trainees that the skills acquired would take them a long way. "Look at this as the first step. You may want to consider a course in "subjects like business administration later," she said.

Commending Stenographer's Guild for offering the programme, she suggested that trangendered persons be merged with the other batches coming to the Guild. "That's how mainstreaming can be done," she added.

P. Aasha Bharathi, president of the Tamil Nadu Aravanigal Association, said it was the lack of job opportunities that forced transgendered to resort to begging or the flesh trade. Even in that, they had to contend with violence and risk of HIV/AIDS, she added.

News at a glance

Tamilnadu Government Order
concerning TGs

Training programme for
the transgendered

8th ICAAP, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Transsexual Denied Medical Treatment

Kolkata gay activist on ramp

The Chennai Rally by the Sexuality Minorities

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TOWARDS RECOGNITION: Chennai Police Commissioner Letika Saran (second from right), interacts with the president of the Tamil Nadu Aravanigal Association P. Aasha Bharathi and other persons at the inauguration of a training programme on Monday. - PHOTO: S.S.KUMAR

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"We are offering courses for the marginalised in our community. This is just an extension of our social responsibility," Ms. Aasha said she hoped more companies and organisations would come forward to employ deserving candidates - such as destitute women and orphans. "The two-month programme will cover MS-Office, spoken English, presentation and language skills and managing phone manners", said S.V. Ramaswamy, honorary president of the guild.

8th ICAAP, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Key Dates

*10 November 2006
Abstract Submission Opens

*31 January 2007
Early Bird Registration Fee Ends

*20 January 2007
Deadline Hardcopy Submission of Scholarship Applications
Deadline Hardcopy Submission of Abstracts Applications

*31 January 2007
Deadline Online Submission of Scholarship Applications
Deadline Online Submission of Abstracts

Abstract Submission

The 8th ICAAP welcomes abstracts and proposals for Oral Sessions, Poster Presentations, Skills Building Workshops and Cultural Programmes. All of the above sessions can be submitted online through the website via the same process and form regardless of the content of the abstract or proposal. All abstracts submitted will go through a blind peer review process carried out by an international review panel.

Submission via the website is strongly encouraged. Abstracts or proposals submitted online must be completed and submitted by 31st January, 2007.

If an electronic submission is impossible, the abstract submission form can be obtained through the 8th ICAAP Secretariat (in exceptional cases only!) by writing to,

c/o Abstract Submission Form,
8th ICAAP Secretariat,
No.3 Castle Avenue,
Colombo 8,
Sri Lanka.
The completed Abstract Submission Form along with the Registration Form, and Scholarship Application Form if you are applying for a scholarship should be sent by registered post to reach us by 20th January, 2007.

Abstracts sent by fax or email will not be considered.

There are four types of abstracts/proposals:

1. Abstracts for Oral Session or Poster Presentation - suitable for scientific research

2. Abstract for Oral Session or Poster Presentation - suitable for experience

3. Proposal for Skills Building Workshops

4. Proposal for Cultural Programme


Transsexual Denied Medical Treatment

Ms. Kokila, 32 is a Transgender. She was suffering from acute abdominal pain for past three months and was admitted at Pondicherry Institute of Medical Science ( PIMS ) hospital and there they identified as positive. But they didn’t give treatment and also it make more expenses for Medicine and Treatment.

Then she had admitted at Female Surgical Emergency Ward at General Hospital, Pondicherry on 23rd September 2006. There they found she’s got “Mass Abdominal” and so was advised operation. When tested at G.H, found that she was HIV + and also a Transgender, the treatment towards her was very bad. The Doctors who attending on her , threw her out of the room. The Nurses attending on Kokila, asked her to lift her saree to show her “Sex organ” – if male or female. She became an object of “ Fun and a showpiece” to the “staff” in General Hospital, Pondicherry. She was made to sleep on the floor and when asked for a blanket, the nurse said “ Transgender like you, can go without any comfort”. The Doctor threw the ‘case sheet’ on her face and cursed her saying never to step into General Hospital and skipped her out of ward on 25th September 2006. Because of such foul languages and activities Kokila, was going through Psychological tremors and so we
(Sahodaran Pondy) took the responsibility of her after her discharge.

We admitted her at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Centre (MGMRC ) with guiding of one of our Advisory team member Dr. Ambujam on 29th September 2006. There we found that she was at third stage and her abdominal were totally injured cause of T.B.

We decided to highlight the issue to the Government and we sent letters to The Governor of Pondicherry, The Chief Minister , The Health Minister, The Health Secretariat, The Director of Medical Services and the Project Director of PSACS. But we didn’t get any response from them till now. Even the Director of PSACS, didn’t have any query with us. Again we arranged a press meet at Pondicherry Press Club and gave our issues. But the Local Channel didn’t publish the news of Kokila and even at News paper the problems and facts were dully furnished. With in the Mean time the health condition is very poor and we admitted her at Tambaram Sanitorium at Chenni on 05th August 2006. With our influence we made to publish the news at Deccan Chronicle on 08th October 2006.

Kokila , may be a Transgender, but is also Human, like any others. She has every right in her society , to ask for proper treatment when ill. The Doctors who have to save lives behave in this manner showing such “ Stigma and Discrimination” how can we expect the general public to be kind to us ?

Pondicherry, for your kind Information is come in the “ High Prevalence Rate” status now. If such is the treatment mooted out to HIV / AIDS affected, how is it that you are going to carry on the “treatment, awareness, stigma and discrimination” against HIV / AIDS in the society.

The irony is the Director of Medical Services ( DMS ) Government of Pondicherry, is the Vice chairman of the Pondicherry State AIDS Control Society (PSACS), and General hospital comes directly under his supervision. If this is the state of General hospital doctors, where else can we go for solace ?

News Courtesy : K.Ganesh - Oct 9, 06


AIDS meet: Kolkata gay activist on ramp
Toufiq Rashid

An Indian designer going global is no longer news but what makes this Toronto fashion show special is that it is being held in the Youth Pavilion in the Global Village of XVI International AIDS Conference. Twenty-one-year-old Soumik Chatterjee (name changed), all the way from Kolkata, is showcasing his bright Indian accessories and traditional applique work kurta on a ramp at the show.
Chatterjee is a gay activist who has been working with Dum Dum Swikriti, a friendship and support group for the MSM community (Men having Sex with Men) based in Kolkata.

Chatterjee’s designs are reflections of what he calls the “passion and compassion” for his community. The bags have been designed with the symbolic “red ribbon”. Some of the kurtas have designs with two males making a single fist. With the chants of Om Namah Shivay in the background, Chatterjee sets the tone for the show.

“I just want to portray the hidden feelings of our community,” said Chatterjee. “I want to marry my partner, have a normal life and adopt kids, but that is not possible at the moment.”

Though quite vocal in his support for the community, Chatterjee knows it won’t be that easy. “Even if Article 377 is abolished, it is doubtful whether that would change the society’s perception of the sexual minorities,” he added.

“My parents are professionals who think I am just working for a gay group. They don’t know my preferences. It will take time for me to tell them and even then, one doesn’t know how they will react,” says the fashion designer.

A music video with two more groups, Amithi and Saathi, also working for the MSM community in Kolkata and the surrounding areas, is the only way people like him can spread awareness in society. “It is the first music video in India. We try and screen it wherever we go . We use it as a weapon in our fight,” he added.

News Courtesy: Pawan Dhall, SAATHII, Kolkata


The Chennai Rally by the Sexuality Minorities

The Chennai Rally by the Sexuality Minorities on 9th August is really a mile stone in our history.
More than 1100 community members from Tamilnadu,Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra, participated and proved our solidarity.

Hats off to SANGAMA of Bangalore for their excellent moral and monitory support for the grand success of the program.

Four organisations took the leadership in organizing.
THAA - Chennai, SWAM - Chennai, Sudar foundation - Kanchipuram and Snegyitham - Tiruchy.

Highlights of the Rally:

- Unexpected huge number of participants.

- Excellent Media coverage.

- Excellent cooperation and bandopast by Chennai city Police

- Superb orderliness of the community in the rally.

- Excellent support from the State Govt.Inspite of the busy on going Legislative
Assembly sessions,the Chief Minister instructed the social welfare minister, to receive the memorandum after the rally.

Five delegates met the minister and submitted the memorandum.Minister promised to look into it and do the needful at the earliest.

Key points of the memorandum:

- State Govt to do the needful with union Govt for repelling Sec 377.

- Sexuality minorities problems to be considered as a social problem like child
labour. Hence Govt to sensitise the public through field publicity department.

- Harassment of the TGs should punishable under Eve teasing Act.

- Violations of the human rights in the police stations on sexual minorities to be stopped immediately.

- In case of any complaints on TGs, They should be dealt only in all women police stations.

- Sexuality is not a disease.Govt hospital doctors and paramedics should be sensitised on sexuality minorities and their issues

News Courtesy : P.Aashabharathi,
Thamilnadu Aravanigal Association [THAA], Chennai



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