Bollywood actress Celina Jaitly is stepping up with a campaign for the rights of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT). Celina is a prominent voice for the rights of gays and lesbians in the country. She will support Free & Equal, the United Nation's (UN) year-long campaign for equality and justice for people practising alternate sexuality. She hopes to create awareness about the problems faced by the LGBT community.
This campaign aims to raise awareness about homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, and encourage greater respect for the rights of LGBT people. A press release from the United Nations Human Rights names Celina along with pop star Ricky Martin, and Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury, who have taken the pledge to support the campaign.
Celina has been involved in various activities concerning human rights, women and children health, sex workers' rehabilitation in India for more than a decade now. She is happy that she finally has the backing from UN. "I have spent half of my life fighting for the cause and finally with the backing of United Nations Human Rights and with the help of people I respect and love, I can take the campaign to another level. To get a platform like this to reach out to people across the world is a dream come true," said the former beauty queen.
The actress feels that gay people should not be segregated at work places or in social spaces because of their sexual preference. She hopes to work towards that through the United Nations initiative.
The 31-year-old Celina feels that there is a long way to go before the society comes anywhere close to realising equality for the LGBT community in India."In India, there is only lip service for them. Equality is a basic human right and it cannot be denied to any community. There is a lot violence against the LGBT community across the world. At least in Mumbai they are relatively safer," she said.
Have a look at the slide show to see other activities and opinions of Celina Jaitly
Celina Hopes To Broaden People's Understanding
She feels that a lot of people in the entertainment industry feel that if they support gay rights, they might be considered a part of the gay community. Through the United Nations' campaign the actress hopes to broaden the base of understanding the problems of the LGBT.
People Have No Understanding For The Community
Celina who was crowned Femina Miss India Universe in 2001 talks about the society. She say that at the moment in India, we only have tolerance, no understanding for the community, and that too in selected enlightened sections of society. She feels that mainstream sections are only able to mask their intolerance towards homosexuality but that isn't enough.
Gay Magazine Launch
In 2009, Celina Jaitly took part in the Mumbai gay pride march to support sexual minorities. In April the same year, India's first gay magazine Bombay Dost, was re-launched by Celina Jaitley in Mumbai.
Celina's Take On The Incident Of Professor Siras
Celina recalls with shock and disgust the incident involving the Aligarh Muslim University professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who was caught on camera making love to a man. She pities the professor who died from mysterious circumstances. She points out that he hand no fault. She also says that it's okay if people prefer not to come out of the closet but if they do they should not be punished for it.
Photo Shoot For PETA
The actress has been involved in various other social activities too. She has also done a photo shoot to show her support for People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA).
Eye Donation Pledge
Celina recently pledged her eyes to Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital in Mumbai. The hospital had launched a programme called 'Care for the eye' as a social initiative aimed at supporting the cause of eye donation.
Celina Jaitly talks about her twin babies Viraaj Haag and Winston Haag whom she had with her husband Peter Haag. She says that until the twins are two, they need her and she needs them too. So she is completely focused on them. Once the twins start going to play-school after three months, the actress says she will have a bit more time on hand.
Celina To Produce Films
Celina also intends to start producing films from next year. She says that she will not have herself as the cast in her first production venture.