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Interview by:    Anisha Kalita

                              Arunima Marwaha

Report by:        Kartikey Gupta

Mr. Harish Iyer, a well-known activist of the LGBTQ community and one of the most vocal proponents of the decriminalization of homosexuality in India, was one of the key speakers of our annual finance conclave, FINOMENA. The main topics covered by him during his inspiring session were child abuse, gender pronouns, homophobia, ways in which we can help a child etc.

 

He started his session by telling the things he used to do during the lockdown period. During lockdown he did social work by reaching out to sex workers, helping them and listening to their stories. He was 33 years old when he showed the courage, came to Satyameva Jayate and told the world about how he was sexually abused. Actually, when he was 18, he came out to tell his tale and speak about child sex abuse for the first time. He said most people think that child abuse is gender-specific and only happens with girls but it’s not true, many boys are also survivors of sexual abuse in India. It’s not about boys versus girls, it’s about children who are sexually abused. Every child needs to be protected from being sexually abused.

 

The main battle a survivor survives is not with the world but it is with himself. We need to develop a world where we respect our age. He urged people to be a good listener and believe as they have to find their roots. The greatest thing anyone can offer to a sexually abused person is to just listen rather than offering unsolicited advice. “The best way to ask is tell”, he added.