Leaving the comfort of your school and home and stepping into college can be an overwhelming experience. Especially if you belong to a minority community that can be discriminated against. To make the search for a support group easier, digital platform Feminism in India (FII) has just launched a crowd-sourced list of on campus feminist, queer, anti-caste, and disability rights groups. At present, it covers nearly 200 collectives across 20 states in India and can be accessed on the FII website. The groups can act as a safe spaces for people and address their concerns.
"A lot of people move from smaller towns to big cities where they don't know anyone. It's can be difficult time when you're coming to terms with your identity," says Japleen Pasricha, founder-director of FII. The multi-media platform has been providing feminist news and pop culture analysis since 2014. "We're now moving to phase two of our vision, which is to be a feminist resource centre. When we started work on this last year, we were looking only at LGBTQ support groups but then we thought of expanding to include all social support and justice groups," she adds. Pasricha and team were inspired by the methodology of the viral crowd-sourced list of 'gynaecologists we can trust', a thread started by a Twitter user (@AmbaAzaad) so women can locate doctors who are not prudish.
If you know of a college group that is not listed on FII, you can fill a form provided on the website and have it added. At present, Delhi has the maximum number of groups, followed by Mumbai and Bengaluru. "There's a need to go beyond Tier 1 and 2 cities and have support groups in smaller cities and towns," Pasricha says.