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KASHISH We Care Fund supports 5 organizations that help LGBTQIA+ communities during pandemic

The fund will be utilised to provide free meals, rations, medical support and shelter to transgender people.

Cafe Guftagu meal packets

Our Correspondent

KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, South Asia's biggest LGBTQIA+ film festival, has announced the name of five non-profit organisations from across India that will receive special funding to help LGBTQI communities amid the pandemic. The fund will be utilised by the organizations to provide free meals, rations, medical support, shelter and a paper-plate making machine to transwomen, transmen and transmasculine persons.

Named the KASHISH We Care fund, it was set up from a portion of the money that was raised from registrations for the 2020 edition of the festival. The five organizations selected to receive the fund are Vikalp (Women’s Group), Baroda; Cafe Guftagu, Thane; Varta Trust, Kolkata; Mitr Trust, Delhi; and Trans Equality Society, Telangana. 

Festival director Sridhar Rangayan said “the very reason why the festival was organized this year, amid the pandemic, was to relieve the stressed minds of people across the globe and take their mind off the crisis "We also wanted to give back to the community to help it in these times of need, especially the transgender community which is facing a huge shortage of rations, medicines and shelter,” he said.

Apurva Paithane, one of the founders of Café Guftagu in the Mira Bhayander city, said, "Receiving this donation from KASHISH Arts Foundation helps us provide 250 nutritious meals packets to the different underprivileged people like daily wage earners, transgenders, sex workers, migrant labourers, who have lost their employment or livelihood opportunities due to the pandemic. These meals give a small ray of hope to these innocent people who have become victims of the crisis. Also, it will help us to reach our aim of providing 5,000 nutritious meals to the needy in this difficult situation".

The festival organisers had announced that they would offer 60% of the money collected through registrations to organizations working to provide relief to the LGBTQ community during the pandemic. KASHISH is now planning its 2021 edition and will soon open its call for film submissions.

Pawan Dhall and Madhuja Nandi, trustees at Varta Trust, Kolkata, thanked the KASHISH Arts Foundation. "We will utilize your support to provide dry rations, medicines, health services and legal aid access to trans people in North 24 Parganas district, the second most impacted by the pandemic after Kolkata in West Bengal. The Amphan cyclone further devastated the district, and full recovery is a long way off. Many trans persons lost their livelihoods in rural and urban areas, including hijras for whom both badhai and chhalla have come to a stop. KASHISH's support, which comes just around Durga Puja is like a symbol of hope for many of us,” they said in a statement.

The 11th edition of the festival was held from 22-30 July.

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Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival