- To head towards making NLS a progressive queer friendly campus by making the campus a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community.
- To actively engage in political and social discourses related to the Gender and Sexual Minorities in India.
- To help various other law and other colleges to form similar bodies in their respective colleges and universities that ensure student level support for the LGBTQ+ community.
The NLSQA was founded in 2015 as a support group for queer students on campus. The alliance now goes beyond that initial mandate, and works to further queer and allied causes, particularly in the field of education. In 2016, we made it to the shortlist of the Herbert Smith Freehills Community Engagement Awards. We also successfully organized a conference on transgender rights on campus in association with CREA, an NGO based in New Delhi.
In our first initiative in previous academic year (2019-2020), we collaborated with The Aravani Art Project, a woman and Trans-Women art collective which involves a collaborative public art/ wall art project to raise awareness about solidarity and allyhood in public spaces, and to make elaborate murals on campus dedicated to the rights of gender or sexual minorities. The mural stands as a symbol of pride and acceptance outside the walls of the First year classroom.
The event was attended by various students from colleges all over Bengaluru, queer activists and folx from NLSIU who really enjoyed interacting with the artists who came down to campus, sharing conversations and quips in addition to the paints and brushes.
We also organised screening of few queer affirmative short films and discussed about the issues highlighted by inviting the directors, actors and people from the community who worked in the film. (Film- Mardistan , by Harjant Gill).
Additionally, we organised Hackathon ( details in next section), support group meetings, provided queer affirmative counselling by professionals and sensitization events in academic year (2019-2020)
Plans for AY 2020-21
- It is our pleasure and honour to inform you that the QA, has drafted the ‘Gender and Sexual Minority Anti-Discrimination Code’, an official NLS policy on LGBTQI+ inclusivity on campus, which shall be implemented soon to facilitate and aid LGBTQI+ students and staff in the exercise of their rights, inquire into acts of discrimination against members of the LGBTQI+ community and adjudicate cases of sexual harassment and physical violence perpetrated against them; to make the campus inclusive in a palpable and real sense.The draft was prepared going through various stages and revisions.For a more comprehensive approach, QA in collaboration with The Pink List India organised a nationwide Hackathon which involved participants from law colleges all over India and queer rights activists and lawyers who came together to improve and discuss each sections of the draft and formulate a holistic policy.
Our final submission of the draft code will be submitted to the NLSIU administration in the month of November. This will follow a series of discussions and negotiations with the college administration to help get it formally adopted. [The QA draft on ‘Gender and Sexual Minority Anti-Discrimination Code was adopted by the Queer society of GNLU and amazingly, their administration has also adopted the code officially.]
2. We intend to start a #PrideFriday a day of the week where we come together in a peaceful corner on campus away from the bustle and bhasad of NLS life: akin to support group gatherings, our aim for Pride Friday is to create a safe haven to share anecdotes, warmth, love, support, laughter, grief, snacks and gossip news every week, for queer peers struggling in life at NLS and beyond, due to their identity. We hope the community will be receptive of the idea, and join in it with full gusto.
3. Several talks and initiatives are lined up and more will come once we have new members in the committee. We are waiting for new unique ideas and initiatives which will help the committee further its mandate.
As you can see, we have a lot going this year – and naturally it will be as overwhelming for all of us as it is exciting. We intend to do justice to the cause our seniors have so passionately taken up and we urge the Law School community to march proudly by our side as we move forward, together.
We do not have a cap on the number of members in any year. We still have graduated members working with us and helping us out in various events and initiatives. We truly see NLSQA as a sensitized, aware and supportive community which has come together with a common goal of helping out the members of the LGBTQI+ spectrum and spreading awareness about different issues and aspects of the community.
The intake criteria is simple and usually depends on your willingness to work for the community. We will be publishing a detailed document regarding the same during the time of intake.
In QA, you are free to take your own initiatives related to the queer community and you have all the freedom to lead, learn and grow. Apart from this, you’ll be regularly exposed to various members and activists working for the queer community who will also be available for various academic and networking opportunities.
Lastly, considering the nature of work of the society which is so community-centric and requires compassion and love; we are of the opinion that such work doesn’t require a very rigid structure of hierarchy. Hence everyone is encouraged to lead and the committee is always there to support and help out and take instructions from anyone, no matter the academic or age or any other seniority.
Committee heads & members
- Abhiudaya ( Joint Convener)
- Sal (Convener)