Rourkela: In a first for Odisha, students of the National Institute of Technology-Rourkela (NIT-R) have taken the bold step in creating an “open and safe” campus for fellow LGBTQ students.
As part of the initiative for inclusiveness, a Rainbow Dot Club under the Literacy and Cultural Society of NIT-R has been set up on campus.
The club members claimed that NIT-R is the first NIT in the country as well as the first educational institution in the state to have created such an LGBTQ support group. “The idea is to sensitise people and create acceptance for the community about which people know, but avoid to talk,” a club member said.
In the first sensitisation move, the Rainbow Dot Club in association with a couple of voluntary organisations hosted a programme titled “Queering Our Premises” on Wednesday.
Ankita Das, one of the club founders, asserted, “The campus has some LGBTQ students who keep themselves in hiding and lead a stressful life fearing victimisation and isolation on getting identified. The club hopes that at one point of time, there would be greater acceptability for the LGBTQ community in NIT-R which would subsequently be emulated by other academic institutions.”