Establishing the “Rainbow Chasers Clan” to expand and strengthen Blossom Trust’s existing LGBTQI+ network
In 2008, the Southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu established a Transgender Welfare Board to mainstream sexual minorities. Yet, in Chennai District, where around 3000-4000 members of the LGBTQI+ community live, stigma and discrimination are still widespread hindering LGBTQI+ people’s livelihoods.
Young LGBTQI+ people notably experience harassment and violence from police officers, teachers, peers and family members. Most of the time, adults from their family units are ill equipped to support them and, in many cases, they become the perpetrators of violence, harassment and even murders. While there are many support groups and networks all over Tamil Nadu, only few are accessible to minors and young people, thus leaving them at the mercy of the challenges and risks.
Through the creation of the “Rainbow Chasers Clan”, we provide young members of the LGBTQI+ community with a safe, collaborative and supportive network of peers and educators to ensure their mental and physical well-being as well as protection and safety. This network is a sub-network of the larger and already well-established TG Act Network, providing further support, security and mentorship to beneficiaries.
Strategy of Rainbow Chasers Clan Network
To fight against social discrimination and exclusion among the most vulnerable, affected LGBTQI+ young individuals in Chennai, through advocacy and peer-to-peer support within a strong inclusive LGBTQI+/youth -led community network. Thus, cultivating a resilient and self-supportive community and promoting equal rights among and towards LGBTQI+ young people.
Among several key strategies, the intervention boasts a unique and holistic educational approach by providing literacy trainings for women and after school Assistive Education classes for children, along with rights-based and vocational skills trainings. Moreover, as part of the intervention, a Children’s Parliament is constituted that serves as a tool for children to voice their demands to their Constitutional Authorities, so that these are heard and fulfilled. In this way, Blossom supports women and children in effectively claiming their rights and entitlements and equips them with the skills and confidence to play a more prominent role in family and community-level decision-making.
Furthermore, Blossom promotes livelihood opportunities and access to markets through income generating activities for women Self Help Groups, encouraging internal saving habits and supporting women in acquiring loans to establish micro-businesses.
Lastly, Blossom plays an important role in advocating for the rights of women, children, and people living with disabilities through liaising with government stakeholders to build new partnerships for positive and sustainable change.
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