Being “Gay” in India is not an easy deal, given a chance to live between people with a diffident mentality towards homosexuality. But the country has seen its own group of reformers when it comes to defying rules and norms which are inhumane. Ashok Row Kavi, one such reformist and a famous gay activist has long been known for coming out openly both as a gay man and an activist in the Indian AIDS struggle. With being the founder-chairperson of the Humsafar Trust, a male sexual health NGO he is known worldwide for his efforts towards LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender) rights and activism in India. Watch Great Bhet this Saturday, 8th June 2012 at 9.30 pm to know about this extraordinary man who revolutionized the gay panorama in India only on IBN-Lokmat
Due to early complexities in dealing with homosexuality, Mr. Kavi enrolled as a Hindu monk in the Ramakrishna Mission. Encouraged by a senior monk to explore his gay orientation, he left the monastery to freely explore his homosexuality. He was the first person to openly talk about homosexuality and gay rights in India through his interview in Savvy magazine in 1986 with his mother, Shobha Row Kavi, being the first woman to share about her son’s homosexuality with the Indian media. He is the founder-chairperson of the Humsafar Trust, a male sexual health NGO, which works towards several gay issues like community work, outreach into the gay groups and research into sexuality and gender issues. With his efforts towards upliftment of the LGBT community in India he has provided a social platform for homosexuals to become actively involved in issues concerning the homosexual paradigm through media, advocacy, cooperation and community-building. Besides working towards several social welfare programmes (funded by national and international organizations and private donors) for HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in Mumbai and Goa, he is an active supporter of organizations like the Gay Bombay, a LGBT social organization in Mumbai.
He has been a regular contributor to newspapers, magazines and journals around the world, on homosexuality, gay rights and issues around HIV/AIDS. With starting India’s first Playboy clone, Debonair, and later finding Bombay Dost, India’s first gay magazine, he has a journalism career of 18 years, where he has worked with newspapers like Malayala Manorama, India’s largest circulated newspaper as a Western India Bureau-Chief and The Indian Express as a senior reporter.
To know more about this protagonist’s remarkable contributions towards gay liberation watch Great Bhet on Saturday, 8th June at 9:30 pm only on IBN-Lokmat.
You can also watch this episode on Sunday i.e. 9th June 2012 @ 12:00 pm & 5:00 pm.