Queering the Gaze: A film festival to celebrate Diversity & Inclusivity

Kolkata : Child in Need Institute (CINI) is an Indian non-profit organisation, regarded as one of the most pioneering institutions working for women and children with the mission of ‘sustainable development in health, nutrition and education of child, adolescent and woman in need’. CINI has initiated to create a child and gender friendly environment for the children, adolescents and youths & has focused in engagement of the stakeholders to make a child-adolescent gender responsive programming along with creating a community-based response mechanism.

Child in Need Institute (CINI)’s 50 years of developmental experience focuses on engaging Children and Adolescents in their own developmental process in the field of Education, Protection, Health & Nutrition supported by different stakeholders.


CINI has collaborated with Terre Des Hommes Germany implementing a project that seeks to create child-safe, inclusive, and gender-responsive city clusters in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, aiming to increase resilience among the community, especially children and adolescents, to gender-based discrimination and violence. CINI with its nascent has started empowering individuals and communities to recognize and address gender-based discriminatory practices effectively in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the specific challenges and factors contributing to such practices against children, adolescents and LGBTIQ individuals.

In this regard, CINI has collaborated with West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Rabindra Bharati University & Sappho for Equality & the platform of RBU was utilized for screening several films for the students that challenged social norms and present alternative perspectives on love, relationships, and sexuality that are often misunderstood or overlooked in regular community life.

The films directly addressed the real-life experiences and challenges faced by the community people, fostering a deeper connection and understanding. To enrich the experience, documentary makers from different like-minded networks were invited to facilitate discussions with the students directly. This interactive platform allowed for insightful conversations and reflections on the themes presented in the films with thought-provoking discussions among the students and the documentary makers. Children from the field of CINI enacted a drama shedding light on gender stereotypes & also gender based violences. The theatre directly provided a social message to the students & highlighted means of promoting a more inclusive and respectful society.

Smt. Tulika Das, Hon'ble Chairperson of West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights; Smt. Arunima Dhar, Assistant Professor Social Work, Rabindra Bharati University; Smt. Ingrid Mandonca, Regional Coordinator South Asia, Terre des Hommes Germany; Koyel Ghosh - Managing Trustee from Sappho for Equality, Dr Swati Chakraborty-Assistant Director, CINI; Smt. Nilanjana Ghosh, Senior Program Manager, CINI were present to grace the occasion.

Mr. Sujoy Roy, National Advocacy Manager at CINI said, "Instead of seeing ourselves as separate pieces, CINI suggests we view people as parts of a giant jigsaw puzzle. Working together, we can create a society that's bursting with color." Roy also challenges us to consider: who decides what gender someone is? And who gives us the right to label some people as something different?

Dr Swati Chakraborty said, "So, in pursuit of our goal of creating a child-friendly city, we've organized the program 'Born This Way,' tailored specifically for the students of Rabindra Bharati University, aiming to foster understanding, acceptance, and empowerment regarding gender diversity among our youth."

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