‘Dear India, We Need More Queer Safe Spaces in the Country’

Olipriya Roy from Kolkata shares how India can start afresh after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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(On the occasion of Republic Day, The Quint relaunches its campaign ‘Letter to India – Ek Naya Start’ and invites readers to send in suggestions for rebuilding India after a tough 2020.

Olipriya Roy from Kolkata shares how India can start afresh after the COVID-19 pandemic. The views expressed are her own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for them.)

Dear India,

In 2021, I hope you are more inclusive to love.

You would be rebuilt on resources for the marginalised and the underprivileged. You’d require more virtual platforms for educational purposes and more textbooks for the girls who were forced to leave their education because of poverty and child marriage.

In 2021, you would require more non-sexual queer places for queer individuals who are minors. Perhaps, some queer cafes?

Maybe you could teach your people gender-neutral and neuro-divergent pronouns for individuals who identify with these pronouns. More representation of queer individuals in movies will be nice, too.

India needs to be rebuilt on more education, and sex education for both queer and non-queer individuals.

I hope India’s schools can include more life skills in their educational curriculum. How to pay your taxes and learning about the degrading environment should be a very important part of the curriculum.

Sustainability must become an integral part of the rebuilding process and we must go back to its old roots of reusing and recycling products. Usage of jute and paper bags over plastic ones must be made popular. We should learn how to reduce waste from our great grandmothers and mothers, because they know how to be sustainable, the Indian way.

India also needs to stop stigmatisation of menstruation and menstruating individuals, while representing trans-individuals and gender-fluid individuals who bleed.

It needs to be acknowledged that periods are not inherently feminine. We need to counter the myth that menstrual blood is dirty and unclean.

Lastly, India in 2021 needs to be rebuilt on community love rather than communal violence. Dear India, love your little ‘desi’ nuances, the food, culture, people and festivals. India, please love yourself.

‘Dear India, We Need More Queer Safe Spaces in the Country’

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