Symbiosis Law School, Pune, a constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed University) celebrated National Law Day to commemorate the adoption of the Indian Constitution. To mark the occasion, a panel discussion was organised on the topic “Meaningful Inclusion of LGBTQIA+ in the Labour Force.” The panelconsisted of eminent legal professionals including Justice Ambadas H Joshi, Lokayukta, Goa, Retired Judge Bombay High Court; Dr.Pragati Singh, Founder, Indian Aces, Delhi; and Dr. Prof. Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright Scholar, Director, Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Symbiosis International (Deemed University). The event was held on 26th November 2021 at 10:30 A.M. IST.
The programme commenced with a brief introduction by Ms. Maitrayee Bharadwaj, Co-Head, Gender Champions, SLS Pune who introduced the theme and invited Dr. Prof. Shashikala Gurpur to deliver the welcome address.
In her welcome addressDr. Prof. Shashikala Gurpur highlighted the significance of the Indian Constitution and further elaborated on its relevance to the LGBTQIA+ community. She said, “Constitutionalism as a value pervades our existence as citizens of an independent country”. She also presented a brief overview of the various initiatives taken up by the Community Care and Legal Cell (CCLC), Symbiosis Law School, Pune, and the institute’s invaluable contribution to the Jaimala Report which was instrumental in highlighting the case of the Transgender community. In the end, she mentioned that, “there is plenty of scope in the Constitution to provide rights because there is a provision in our Constitution for every right.”
Ms. Maitrayee Bharadwaj then briefly introduced the distinguished panellist and invited Justice Ambadas H. Joshi to deliver his address.
Justice Ambadas H Joshi, Lokayukta, Goa, Judge (Rtd.) Bombay High Court, expressed the need to take up the issue of non-inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community in an affirmative manner. Covering larger aspects of inclusion, Justice Joshi also mentioned that the onus lay upon institutions in the country to groom the community to make people believe in equality for all. He also highlighted the usefulness of law as a tool to remove social disability. To supplement his address, Justice Joshi also cited various examples from the Mahabharata about the presence of LGBTQIA+ characters. After his address Dr. Dhanaji Jadhav, Deputy Director (Administration), moderated the question answer session. Justice Ambadas H. Joshi addressed all the questions
Dr. Pragati Singh, Founder, Indian Aces, Delhi, was then invited to deliver her address. She clarified the difference between ‘inclusion’ and ‘meaningful inclusion’ and the pressing need to the latter. She also spoke about the moral and legal imperatives for including the LGBTQIA+ community into the workforce but underpinned the economic imperative of the same. To further explain the situation, Dr. Singh said, “Young people from the LGBTQIA+ community do not prefer to go into fields like law and medicine since there is no representation and sensitization which reinforces the vicious cycle of under representation.” Dr. Singh’s speech was followed by another question answer session, moderated by Dr. Dhanaji Jadhav.
The programme ended on a successful note with the vote of thanks, delivered by Prof. Manika Kamthan, Asst. Professor, Symbiosis Law School, Pune. Vote of thanks was followed by the National Anthem. The event was witnessed by 145 intellectual law students of the institute.