India’s favourite news anchor Arnab Goswami comes in support for the LGBT community.

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    By Aleem shaikh.

    India‟s favourite news anchor Arnab Goswami comes in full support for the LGBT Community at the First Likho Awards for Excellence in Media.

    First Likho Awards for Excellence in Media held in Mumbai on December 10, 2016 is an initiative of The Humsafar Trust and Bombay Dost in association with MS DIVA recognizes exemplary work by journalists and media persons in India that have a fair and inclusive representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer community.

    The film Angry Indian Goddesses and the novel Don’t Let Him Know won top honours at the awards.

    “I have seen a lot of bravery on stage tonight and I am touched,” Arnab said in his introductory remarks. He asked the the LGBTQ community to fight if they want section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises same sex relations struck down. “Fight a little bit more louder. Take people with you. Make a noise. Claim what is yours with a sense of righteousness on your side. Together we will destroy any law that was brought in in 1860 that has no place in India today” said the famous indian journalist Arnab Goswami.Arnab gave away the awards, which included a plaque and a cash prize of Rs 5,000.

    Angry Indian Goddesses directed by Pan Nalin won the Best Film of 2015. “I am thrilled to be part of the beginning of these exciting Likho Awards. “I am happy to know that Angry Indian Goddesses has won an award for Excellence in Media. And all the credit goes to the amazing cast and crew of the film. Likho Awards is a great idea, long over due in our country. And I wish tremendous success to the team who are behind this creation. It will encourage voices which are often lost in cacophony or crushed in chaos,” said director Pan Nalin.

    The awards in seven categories were for works published in the year 2015.Kumar Vikram, won in the Print category for their investigative story in Mail Today on doctors who offer electric shocks and conversion therapy to “cure” gay men. “The story was something which was born out of conviction and I am extremely happy that it got recognized. They were high profile doctors who had no qualms indulging in this obnoxious practice. The most painful part is that when we got back to one of them recently and asked if he felt what he did was unethical , he said „No, I don‟t think so’,” said Sebastian a Delhi based journalist.

    The award in the books category was won by Sandip Roy for his multi-generational novel Don’t Let Him Know. The awards in the Digital category went to Urmi Chanda-Vaz for her story on gay literature in Scroll. “I‟m just really, really grateful and honoured,” said Urmi Chanda-Vaz. The prize in the LGBTQ Media category was won by Nicola Desouza for her story on a transman in an earthquake relief camp in Nepal that was published in Gaylaxy.

    Ogilvy and Mather bagged the Ad for 2015 for their ad for Myntra that featured a lesbian couple, while in the TV category, the award went to MTV India for an episode of the television series ‘The Big F – I kissed a girl’ that featured the first lesbian kiss on Indian national television.

    The awards were judged by a panel comprising HST chairman Ashok Row Kavi, publisher, producer and founder of Queer Ink Shobhna S. Kumar, trans- activist and co-founder of Ondede Akkai Padmashali and independent filmmaker and graphic artist Pradipta Ray

    Ray agreed. “There was a lot of variety. There were a lot of events and issues that were covered. We had a bit of difficulty in deciding the awards,” said Pradipta Ray. “Likho is an excellent initiative to recognize the mainstream media for their works in the LGBTQ community,” said Akkai Padmashali.

    Ashok Row Kavi said he was surprised  by the incredible diversity of the submissions. These are the type of stories that will create a difference for the LGBTQ community,”.

    Shobhna S. Kumar also had a similar view . “I was quite delighted with the submissions this year. There was a great range of works before the the jury,” said Shobhna.

    Likho Awards For Excellence In Media Winners

    Likho Awards for Excellence In Media

    Best Film of 2015 Winner: Angry Indian Goddesses directed by Pan Nalin Watch Trailer Here Special Mention: B S Lingadevaru for the film Njan Avanalla… Avalu Watch Trailer Here

    Best Print Story of 2015 WinnerSangeeth Sebastian & Kumar Vikram of Mail Today Story: Delhi doctors use electric shock to treat homosexuality

    Best Book of 2015 Winner: Don’t Let Him Know by Sandip Roy

    Best Digital Story of 2015 Winner: Urmi Chanda-Vaz of Scroll Story: Gay literature is firmly out of the closet in India, and winning readers over

    Best LGBT Media Story of 2015 Winner: Nicola Desouza for her story in Gaylaxy Story: Life With A Transman in an Earthquake Relief Camp, Kathmandu

    Best TV Show of 2015 Winner: MTV India for The Big F – I Kissed a Girl

    Ad of 2015 Winner: Ogilvy & Mather for Anouk – Bold is Beautiful – The Visit

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