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2010 – Organizations

அன்பிற்கும் உண்டோ அடைக்குந்தாழ்? – திருவள்ளுவர்
Can love be shackled? – Thiruvalluvar

An introduction to various organizations involved in Chennai Pride 2009 and/or 2010.

Center for Counselling
Founded by Magdalene Jeyarathnam, Center for Counselling’s mission is to serve as a resource for individuals and organizations by providing short-term, culturally- sensitive counseling, training, consultation,and other collaborative and programmatic services related to counseling.
Center for Counselling runs
* Support group meetings for parents and families of LGBT people
* Group therapy sessions for LGBT folks and
* Provides crisis counselling support for LGBT people

Chennai Dost (CD)
Started in Aug 2009, Chennai Dost aims to connect with the community through entertainment.

Lotus strong>
Lotus Integrated AIDS Awareness Sangam, founded in 2000, is a membership organization that supports men who have sex with men in Kumbakonam and surrounding villages in Tamil Nadu. Lotus works with about 1,500 members, organizing membership meetings, providing counseling, and undertaking advocacy efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination and HIV transmission. Lotus is one of the few community-run groups in India working with men who have sex with men in rural and semi-urban areas.

MP provides a non-sexual support space for lesbian/gay /bi/transgender (LGBT) people located in, or with roots in Chennai. MP is primarily an online group, but local members meet up periodically and conduct events in partnership with other collectives. Started in December 2003, MP has touched many lives and has given a strong sense of belonging and support to its members. MP runs Orinam.net, a bilingual resource website (Tamil and English) with information and resources on alternate sexualities and genders.
Website: http://orinam.net
Mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/movenpick

Sahodari Foundation
Sahodari Foundation is a transgender rights group based in TamilNadu.Founded by transgender rights activist Kalki Subramaniam, Sahodari works for social, political and economic equality for transgender people and campaigns for transgender civil and legal rights. Sahodari transforms underprivileged transgender women as young leaders and professionals by providing them training in arts, media and software skills. Sahodari’s Liberation Performing Arts Troupe is the first of its kind in Asia.

Sahodaran is one of the oldest community-based organizations for men who have sex with men (MSM) in India. It partners with the Tamil Nadu state government AIDS program to implement HIV prevention and community health promotion activities in Chennai, and has also spawned similar organizations in Cuddalore and Pondicherry. It is well known for mid-media cultural programming through events that employ arts, music and dance to raise awareness of the public on issues of sexuality and sexual health.

Sangama is a sexuality minorities human rights organization for individuals oppressed due to their sexual preference. Sangama aims to help live their lives with self acceptance, self respect and dignity. Sangama especially emphasize the concerns of sexuality minorities from poor and/or non-English speaking backgrounds and sexuality minority sex workers, who otherwise have little to no access to information and resources. Founded in 1999, Sangama operates in Bangalore and Chennai.

The Shakti Resource Center
The Shakti Resource Center is a collective of activists, performers, academics and everyday revolutionaries who are creating a public dialogue on gender and sexuality in Chennai. Its mission is to create a sustained public dialogue around issues of gender and sexuality through the use of fine, performing and technology-based art works as a medium of outreach and tools for community building.

Social Integration and Development for Aravanis (SIDA) Foundation
Founded by Priya Babu, SIDA Foundation works for the upliftment of the transgender community by helping transgender persons submit application forms for the survey conducted by government personnel, enroll in special self-help groups [SHGs], submit demands to the Collector at the special public grievances meetings and represent their cases in the Aravani welfare board.

Social Welfare Association for Men (SWAM)
Founded by B. Sekar, the first activist to come out as HIV positive and gay in India, SWAM runs support groups and serves as a drop-in centre for MSM, gay, bisexual, and HIV positive men.

South India AIDS Action Programme (SIAAP)
SIAAP is a not-for-profit organization working for HIV prevention and care in India. SIAAP’s projects include support for community development, counseling for informed choices, advocacy for progressive policies, and training to build capacity for change. SIAAP works towards appropriate responses for a socially safer environment for people affected by/vulnerable to HIV such as Women Selling Sex, Men who have Sex with Men and People Living with HIV and AIDS. SIAAP’s experience over the years has led to its recognition as a capacity development organisation, with NACO, TNSACS, APAC, UNICEF, WHO, CDC, FHI, NIMHANS, and KHPT among many other NGOs & CBOs.

Solidarity and Action Against The HIV Infection in India (SAATHII)
Founded in 2000,SAATHII strengthens and scales up the capacity of organizations working against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India. Included in its mandate is support to efforts of LGBT groups to strengthen communities and advocate for their health and rights. Headquartered in Chennai, SAATHII has programs in eight states in India.

Transgender Rights Association
Transgender Rights Association was set up in the year 2007 by Ms. R. Jeeva. It aims to protect the rights of Transgenders in Tamil Nadu, enhance services for HIV positive transgender individuals visiting the government hospitals in Chennai, India, advocate with the medical establishment for appropriate and sensitive care, and educate HIV positive transgenders on treatment issues.

For more details on some of these groups, check out the accomplishments of Chennai Rainbow Coalition 2009 at http://orinam.net/2009/