We live in such illusion when we go about in the society and see similar kind of people out and about at workplaces, and other public places. What about the disabled people, LGBTQ community and the gross under representation of women? What are we doing to break the norm or sort of bringing the minorities and the marginalized into the mainstream? There are ways to foster greater community engagement to address issues of mass impact through unconventional ideas and innovations.

A minority in themselves but there are people who are doing focussed work in different sectors and spheres to bring in a more inclusive environment in the society. One of the examples of such inclusion champions is Kalyani Khona, founder of Inclov, who spoke at a panel in I Inspire Inclusion Leadership Award organised by the Beyond Diversity Foundation.

Inclov is a matchmaking online platform where disabled people and older citizen can find their partner keeping their preference in mind as in whether they are looking for marriage or dating.

“Usually when I speak at such panels I represent two under-served communities- women and people with disabilities. When I started out the intent was to not leave anyone behind but how do I do that? And how do I bring that social isolation as a subject out in person? And this wasn’t to get people married as it wouldn’t solve grass-root issue. My problem was that they are not coming out to meet enough people who is why they lack the social skills to acquaint themselves with the opposite gender,” said Khona about including people with disabilities in social spaces.

My problem was that they are not coming out to meet enough people who is why they lack the social skills to acquaint themselves with the opposite gender. -Kalyani Khona

Love is one such arena where it is particularly difficult for people with disabilities and the older generation to have a chance at. We often have parents who sulk because their disabled child is bereaved of companionship. So here Khona’s Inclov plays a huge role in establishing relations and bringing inclusion.

How UN Women is using innovative ideas to bring a change and make women more aware and vocal about their rights is through community programs and cultural workshops. Talking about these, Deputy Country Representative, Nishtha Satyam said, “It really makes my day when people say ‘leave no one behind’ but if it was only for the government then I am sure we will leave someone behind. We look at India today, we don’t even realize that we are sitting on a leap of battles won by women before us. There were women who were marching on the streets to ensure that women sit in parliament, reservation in local governance. So I think we have taken the SheForShe drive very strongly in this country.”

She also spoke about how there is a great need to include men in women’s struggle and that’s when UN Women started HeForShe as well.

If we talk about HeForShe, then Sujatro Ghosh is the person who would come in mind. Ghosh brought a revolution in the country with his Cow Mask project. Being a photographer, he clicked women wearing cow mask around the country as he believed that the ruling party is more concerned about cattle in the country than its women in terms of safety.

“In order to reach equality we want men to be feminists as well,” said Ghosh about how men’s support to the women’s movement is of great importance.

It is clear that the most crucial need of the hour is to bring in diversity and inclusion. If we want a world that’s sensitive to the needs of everyone than we need representatives of each and every community and kind to be in positions of power.

SheThePeople was a part to I-Inspire 2018 an effort of BD Foundation.

Also Read: Eleven Ways to Love – Where Inclusivity & Intersectionality find their rightful place

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