Promoting Diversity and Equality in Asia: The Launch of India’s Diverse Chamber

| By Kaela Roeder


(From left to right, second row: Dinesh Patel, Simran Shaikh, Phil Crehan,Sahil Vij, 
Bismaya Kumar. From left to right, first row: Aarthy Madanagopal, Palak Sharma, Bhuwan Kathuria and Vinay Kumar)

“India is a world leader in technology and innovation, so it is no surprise that India is now home to an innovative, inspiring new organization focused on one of the most important truths in our modern, globalized economy: diversity is good for business,” said Co- Founder and President, Justin Nelson.

When Section 377 of the Indian penal code was abolished and same-sex relations were decriminalized, Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud said “what makes life meaningful is love. The right that makes us human is the right to love.”

NGLCC Global has been working with leaders in India to facilitate the launch of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) Chamber of Commerce to promote the well-being of LGBTI business owners and to promote economic empowerment. On May 23, this culminated in the formal launch of the Chamber.

NGLCC Global is the international division of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and is devoted to promoting economic empowerment and inclusive economic growth for LGBTI people and LGBTI-owned businesses worldwide. NGLCC Global works with the public and private sectors in order to promote inclusion in the business world. “Being LGBTI should not affect economic participation,” said NGLCC Global fellow Aarthy Madanagopal.

Madanagopal and Phil Crehan, the Director of NGLCC Global, recently travelled to New Delhi, India to RWS: India’s Diverse Chamber of Commerce. This chamber is meant “to empower the LGBTQIA community of India and provide them equal opportunities as part of the mainstream.” This is the first chamber established in South Asia.


(Phil Crehan accepting a gift from RWS)

Simran Shaikh, Co-Founder of RWS said that the launch of a structure like RWS is currently inactive in India. “We have received immense support from our global partner NGLCC in India to activate this employment structure for the Indian LGBT community. There are people from the community having immense talent that remains unnoticed due to which the individuals are unable to become self-independent. Through this partnership, we shall work as an agent with the Indian corporate sector and people who require jobs (both small scale and large scale) depending upon their skills.”

The opening of the chamber took place at the LaLiT hotel, which is owned by Keshav Suri. Suri, a champion for the human rights of LGBTI people, has been at the forefront of this movement with his foundation. His voice and platform on being LGBTI in the business world has advanced inclusion in the economic sector to the forefront in India. Suri also works to employ LGBTI individuals in his businesses to promote their livelihoods, while also providing positive visibility to the mainstream population. He also has specific nights that are catered to LGBTI people in the bars of the hotels, which has created safe spaces and a sense of community.
 
The opening of RWS – India’s Diverse Chamber will improve supplier diversity and promote LGBTI economic empowerment. RWS will also work to promote equality in schools, the healthcare system, human rights, and improve LGBT tourism in the country. This empowerment will reach individuals at all levels: in the labor market, workers in the formal sector, and LGBTI business owners and entrepreneurs.

“The government through its landmark judgement chalked out our way towards hope and progress. It is now our responsibility to further this decision and benefit from the same because globally pink economies have a significant contribution towards the socio-economic status of the countries. However, India is naïve of this concept and we aim to break those barriers and encourage the community to be more efficient and productive for themselves,” said Vinay Kumar Co-Founder of RWS. 


(RWS and NGLCC Global at RWS opening)

NGLCC Global is constantly working on building new and valuable relationships all over the world. With now fifteen partners around the world in the NGLCC Global Network, the Global team will continue to build new and innovative ways to promote LGBTI economic empowerment, often through new partnerships with the private sector..

NGLCC Co-Founder and CEO Chance Mitchell said, “Together, with our global partners, we will ensure our community thrives on every continent.”

Learn more about our work internationally and get involved at www.nglcc.org/global or by contacting our team at [email protected]