MUMBAI – When the Supreme Court repealed Section 377 on September 6th 2018, it delivered the truest sense of freedom to millions of LGBTQIA+ people in India. It finally granted them constitutional equality. This year’s Independence Day may be the nation’s 73rd, but it is the Pride community’s first. To commemorate this, prominent community members and a few of the petitioners who worked towards this landmark judgement have come together to present their own rendition of our nation’s National Anthem.
To celebrate this, Interactive Avenues – A Reprise network Company, which is the digital arm of IPG Mediabrands India, joined hands with The Humsafar Trust, one of Asia’s first and the largest organisations working for LGBTQIA+ health and rights, to create a special National Anthem film.
The film which has been scripted, conceptualised and created by Interactive Avenues features prominent LGBTQIA+ advocates and activists from NGOs and advocacy bodies like The Naz Foundation,KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival,Sweekar – The Rainbow Parents,Umang LBT Group, andThe Humsafar Trust, amongst others. The video’s narrative presents a colourful and artistic interpretation of the most popular symbol of India’s unity and diversity – the National Anthem penned by Rabindranath Tagore.
On August 15, India’s largest cinema chain, PVR, played this national anthem film across 250 screens in 8 metros during every movie show in these theatres.
This collaboration between The Humsafar Trust and IPG Mediabrands India is the first of many steps that India’s second largest media agency network is taking to achieve a lasting culture change across its holding companies.
“People are our biggest asset and therefore as a network, collectively we have fostered a culture of diversity and inclusion. We are India’s only advertising network which has 50% women representation in its executive council. And through this film, we want to tell our employees and to the larger society that that we welcome everyone and we embrace everyone.”Savita Mathai, Group Chief Talent Officer, IPG Mediabrands India.
Ashok Row Kavi (HST Chairperson & Founder), Suhail Abbasi (Co-Founder & Trustee), Vivek Anand (CEO & Board Member), and HST’s staff members Yashwinder Singh and Gautam Yadav were petitioners before the Supreme Court advocating the repeal of Section 377.
About The Humsafar Trust:
The Humsafar Trust (HST) was founded in April 1994 by reputed journalist, Ashok Row Kavi, along with Suhail Abbasi and Sridhar Rangayan to reach out to LGBTQIA+ communities in Mumbai and its surrounding areas. After many efforts, it became the first openly gay community-based organisation to be allotted space in a municipal building in Mumbai.
About IPG Mediabrands India:
IPG Mediabrands is the global media arm of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). Today, the network manages $39 billion in marketing investment on behalf of its clients, employing over 10,000 marketing communication specialists in more than 130 countries. In India, IPG Mediabrands is the second largest media agency network with leading agencies under its banner including Lodestar UM, Initiative, Interactive Avenues and Rapport.