Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents Group from India goes Globalby The Daily Eye News Desk August 31 2018, 6:40 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 31 secs
Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents, the Indian support group for parents of LGBTQ children recently participated in a conference and also the pride celebrations in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The ‘Regional Meeting on Empowerment and Capacity Development for Parents of LGBTI Persons in Asia’, organized by ILGA Asia and ICS Center in collaboration with UNDP and Thammasat University, brought together around 30 LGBTQ persons and parents from India, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Thailand, Cambodia, South Korea, Taiwan, Myanmar and Vietnam. The purpose of the meeting was to document best models of supporting parents groups and engaging them in the LGBTI movement.
Aruna Desai interacting with other parents
Aruna Desai, one of the core team members of Sweekar group participated in a panel discussion “Love Above All” and spoke about accepting her gay son Abhishek and the journey she has undertaken to come out herself as a proud mother.
Filmmaker and gay activist Sridhar Rangayan participated in a panel discussion “Reaching out to Parents” and spoke about the inception of the Sweekar group and outlined its objectives, activities and future plans. He also screened the trailer of his feature film ‘Evening Shadows’ about a gay son coming out to his mother and the challenges she faces in accepting him. Part of the money raised by Solaris Pictures for the film has been donated to kick-start the parent support group Sweekar.
Sridhar Rangayan and Aruna Desai at Panel Discussion
Both Desai and Rangayan participated in the Viet Pride 2018 proudly holding the Sweekar banner - https://www.facebook.com/SweekarTheRainbowParents/videos/2251628818441780/
Aruna Desai said about her experience, “It was an absolutely amazing initiative of gathering LGBTI+ friendly people of Asian countries together on one platform. We had discussion on strategies of how parents can unite and come together! They are all doing amazing work for the community and it is going to help us in many ways. Coming out stories were touching as well as brave. I am feeling more empowered now”, she said and added, “ I have been attending prides only in India till now, and this year I was fortunate to attend Viet Pride. Beautiful Experience!!!”
Rangayan was very impressed by the work done by PFLAG groups in China, Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam. “It is amazing that PFLAG China has more than 60 chapters across their country and a very active helpline. We all hope that our Indian parent support group Sweekar will also be able to reach across India to parents and help them.”
Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents group now has about 50 members who are parents in Mumbai and other parts of India as well as some parents from outside India too. The group has held several meetings in Mumbai, attended and spoken at panel discussions at various LGBTQ events as well as marched at Mumbai Pride and Pune Pride. It has a public Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SweekarTheRainbowParents.