Nepal: Kathmandu to See First LGBT Centre in Region

The Kathmandu Post: Capital to see first LGBT Centre in region
Sent by Sunil Pant

Kathmandu, Feb 02

Nepal has been ahead of other South Asian countries to ensure the legal rights of sexual minorities. Now, members of the community have decided to establish a South Asian Community Centre, said to be the first of its kind in the region, in the Capital with an aim to empower and foster a sense of unity among sexual minorities.

According to Sunil Babu Pant, the first Constituent Assembly member from the community and the president of Blue Diamond Society, an organisation that works towards sexual minority rights, the centre will play a pivotal role in imparting various trainings for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals (LGBTs) so as to make them self-dependent.

Despite legal rights, LGBTs in Nepal still are not socially accepted. Most are still unemployed, and some have difficulties enrolling at schools or colleges due to their sexual orientation.

According to Pant, the Centre will have all the facilities such as a health centre, a library, a theatre hall, a conference hall, shelter for needy and abandoned members, playgrounds, swimming pool, and a cafeteria with ample parking space.

In this regard, Blue Diamond Society has already bought five ropanis of land in Taudaha on the outskirts of the Valley, and architectural plans for the centre are underway. A part of the funds were provided by the government.

Pant is hopeful that the centre will systematise their programmes and activities, uplift the existing status of community members, provide temporary residence for members of the community, and ensure the privacy of members as well as social security to elderly members.

The estimated budget for the centre stands at Rs. 24.5 million. “There is no way to wait for government assistance. We will reach out to potential donors,” said Pant. In addition, the government has also pledged to provide assistance to make the plan successful.

Blue Diamond Society plans to complete the construction of the centre within three years.

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