Ashok Row Kavi
This profile was prepared when Ashok Row Kavi was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1994.
The New Idea
Ashok Row Kavi is attempting to increase the status and security for homosexuals within Indian society. He is uniting this marginalized group of people into an organized and vocal community with a common identity, and organizing it to bring pressure on political and social forces in the country. Ashok empowers and strengthens the gay community through initiatives such as social gatherings, outreach programs, counseling and legal education. Drawing upon his journalism background, Ashok uses the print media to communicate with and dispense information to gays and lesbians. His magazine, "Bombay Dost," is the first legally registered publication to focus exclusively on the issues that confront gays, lesbians and bisexuals and is one of the few resources in India for homosexual AIDS education.After he has strengthened gay and lesbian community identity, Ashok will motivate them to target and take action on specific issues. The first advocacy initiative will build pressure for the decriminalization of homosexuality. Ashok will also encourage the groups to promote and design AIDS prevention and safe sex campaigns.