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LGBTIQA+ Community Development and Access to Rights, Health and Social Welfare

SAATHII’s LGBTIQA+ work is focused on amplifying community voices and efforts towards a shared vision of universal access to health, justice, social and economic protection.

Apart from contributing to national LGBTIQA+ advocacy efforts, our work focuses on supporting community-driven initiatives in the states of Gujarat, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu; with future work proposed in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram and Telangana.

Our community partners include All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association (AMANA), Empowering Trans Ability (ETA), Maa Majhigouri, Nirangal-SIAAP, Queerala, Shamakami, Vikalp Women’s Group and other collectives. We are also pleased to be collaborating with NGO partners such as Nirantar, Varta Trust, and with individuals such as Dr. Sameera Jahagirdar from Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Pondicherry.

Current initiatives include Access, Empower, Sangraha and Vistaara. Past projects are listed below.

Study: Mental Health Study on Stigma and Depression Among Sexual Minorities

Mental health study on stigma and depression among sexual minorities is being carried out in two phases in the Kolkata office. Phase I took place from May 2011 to January 2012 and Phase II is from February 2012 to October 2012. The title of the project is “Modeling the Impact of Stigma on Depression and Sexual Risk Behaviors of Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and Hijras/Transgender women in India: Implications for HIV and Sexual Health Programs.” Read More...

Santi Seva: Expanding Access to Education, Livelihood and Health Services among TG Communities in Bhadrak, Odisha

The “Capacity Building of Santi Seva Support Group for Male-to-Female Transgender Communities in Bhadrak, Orissa” Project, initiated in January 2008 with support from SAATHII and Fellowship, aims to improve the overall well being of Hijras, Maichiyas, and other male-to-female transgendered populations. The project also strives to reduce their vulnerability to HIV by strengthening the capacity of Santi Seva, one of the first and few community based organizations (CBOs) for transgender populations in Odisha. Read More...

HIV/AIDS Support Center Project : Support Center for Voluntary Agencies Working with Sexual Minorities and People Living with HIV/AIDS in Eastern India (2004-2008)

This project operated out of the Kolkata office and provided capacity building and educational resource support on issues of gender, sexuality, human rights, sexual health and HIV/AIDS to voluntary and government agencies working with sexual minorities, PLHIV and other vulnerable populations. An extension center of this project in Bhubaneswar, Odisha collaborated with government and voluntary agencies on scaling up HIV/AIDS interventions for sexual minorities and PLHIV. The project reached more than 15,000 sexual minorities and PLHIV through 23 voluntary agencies in Bihar, Meghalaya, Manipur, Odisha, and West Bengal. Read More...

Network East and North-East Projects

This initiative involved three related projects:

  • Network North-East: Mapping and Training MSM and Transgender Community Groups in North-Eastern India for Participation in National AIDS Control Programme– Phase III (2008)
  • Network East: Mapping and Training MSM and Transgender Community Groups in Eastern India for Participation in National AIDS Control Programme– Phase III (2008-09)
  • Network North-East Project Extension: Supporting NERO to MentorMSM and Transgender Community Groups and Targeted Interventions in North-Eastern India for Participation in National AIDS Control Programme – Phase III (2009-2010)


Film Based Research Project: "From the Third Eye"

The film aims to highlight the issues and concerns of male-to-female transgender people in India through discussions, interviews, studies, and the performing arts. It shows not just the struggles and sufferings of transgender persons, but also mirrors their tenacity to survive against all odds. Inspired largely by the personal experiences of a SAATHII staffer in Kolkata, the film tells the story of several transgender heroes across India. Read More...

Regional Transgender and Hijra Issues Consultation in Eastern India

National consultations in Delhi and Mumbai on health and development concerns of sexual minorities in 2008 and 2009 revealed serious gaps in the understanding of issues related to male-to-female transgender (TG) populations. Apart from concern that the government and civil society response to the HIV epidemic often overlooks fundamental developmental needs of transgender people, there was considerable debate on how MSM and transgender issues get conflated to the detriment of both populations. This lead to several transgender support groups and leaders from across India to plan focused consultations on what it means to be transgendered, the significance of Hijra as a distinct cultural identity, and cross-cutting as well as specific needs of transgender and Hijra communities in the country. Read More...

Cross-section study on prevalence on sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS among Trans-women residing in Chennai, Tamil nadu

Trans-women (Aravanis/ male-to-female transgenders) are among the groups that are at high risk of contraction and transmission of HIV in India. A cross-sectional study was conducted to address existing knowledge gaps regarding prevalence of HIV and STIs and sexual behaviors and practices. The study, constituting the doctoral work of SAATHII’s Research Officer P.S. Saravanamurthy, was carried out in collaboration with SAATHII, the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS) and the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences. Read More...