About Us

Sangama is a sexual minorities, sex workers and people living HIV human rights organization for individuals oppressed due to their sexual preference.Sexuality minorities include, but are not limited to, hijras, kothis, doubledeckers, jogappas, lesbians, bisexuals, homosexuals, gays, Female-to-male/male-to-female transsexuals and other transgenders. We aim to help live their lives with self acceptance, self respect and dignity. We especially emphasize the concerns of sexuality minorities from poor and/or non-English speaking backgrounds and sexuality minority sex workers, who otherwise have little to no access to information and resources.

Sangama aims to bring sexuality, sexual preference and gender identity into the realm of public discourse and link it to gender, human rights development and other social movements. We campaign for the changes in the existing laws, which discriminate against sexuality minorities, including sex workers and People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). We work with family members, friends, co-workers and partners of sexuality minorities.

Over the years, Sangama has been in contact with homosexual/bisexual men, lesbian/bisexual/homosexual women, kothis, hijras and other transgender people particularly from the poor and non-English speaking backgrounds in Bangalore. Along with providing information, awareness and support, we facilitate their participation in all our activities.


History

Founded in 1999. Registered as a society (Reg. No. 242/2001-02, under Karnataka Societies Registration Act. 1960) on June 22nd, 2001 in Bangalore with 11 governing body members.

Bangalore like many other cities in India has very limited spaces where sexuality minorities can meet/help/work with each other and acquire information about sexual orientation/gender identity. Sangama started in this context in August 1999 to work for sexuality minorities' rights with information and education. Its initial funding was through a two-year individual fellowship from MacArthur Foundation to Elavarthi Manohar who presently acts as the Program Coordinator of Sangama.

It soon developed into a full-fledged documentation/drop-in/resource/ crisis intervention centre. It also emerged as a strong activist space working openly in Bangalore on sexuality minorities' issues and rights.

Sangama is a bilingual organisation, extensively documenting issues of sexuality and sexuality minorities' in Kannada and English.


Vision

Sangama is an anti-sexist, anti-classist, democratic and transparent organisation. We believe in diversity and do not see all sexuality minorities as a monolithic/uniform community. We recognise that they come from different class/caste/gender/religion/language/culture/ ethnicity/sexual identity/sexual orientation/ political backgrounds. Different people face different forms of marginalisation even among sexuality minorities. Sangama recognises the need to work not only with sexuality minorities but also their family members/friends/co-workers and the society at large. We look at the sexual rights movements as based on not only the discourse of sexual identity/orientation and gender identity but also on discourses of human rights, sexual rights, gender equality, social justice, etc. We believe in an integrationist approach, i.e., to integrate non-homophobic heterosexuals and social activists in the movement for sexual rights. We also work with other social movements and believe in building alliances for a larger struggle for equality, justice and freedom.'