Press Release

November 20, 2015

Godrej India Culture Lab hosts a special event ‘Dancing Queens’ a celebration of India's Transgender Communities

Mumbai, November 20, 2015: India is one of the few countries that legally recognize transgender as the third gender. This landmark judgment was passed in April, 2014. However, even today transgenders remain socially excluded and not much is known about the aspirations, lives and struggles of our country’s transgender communities.

To mark Transgender Awareness Week in India, Godrej India Culture Lab hosted a special event on November 18, 2015 along with the ‘Dancing Queens’, Mumbai’s premiere professional transgender-led dance contingent.
Over 600 people attended the event, including Nadir Godrej, MD of Godrej Industries Ltd., Prince Manvendra Gohil from Rajpipla, Gujrat, famous LGBT activist Ashok Row Kavi and filmmakers Paromita Vohra and Bishaka Datta.

The dance troupe, led by Abhina Aher, Urmi Jadhav and Madhuri Sarode revealed what it means to identify as transgender in India, the obstacles faced by the community, and methods for prevailing over them, through a series of exciting choreographed numbers, interwoven with award-winning videos by the Culture Lab’s Fulbright Scholar in Residence Jeff Roy.

Speaking at the event Parmesh Shahani, head of the Godrej India Culture Lab, said, “I am thrilled to see the success of this event. It is a symbol of the change that is emerging in India. We, at Godrej, have had more than 30 events over the past 5 years at Godrej around LGBT themes. We hope that today’s event inspires other companies in India to take up this important cause to further human rights and equality in India.”

Other Godrej India Culture Lab LGBT events

  • Breaking Free – A panel discussion on LGBT acceptance at the workplace with industrialist Radhika Piramal and LGBT rights activist Padma Iyer

  • Ek Madhav Baug - A pioneering Marathi language play by the late legendary playwright Chetan Datar which was performed by Mona Ambegaonkar at the Lab.

  • Out! - The Lab hosted a reading of Out! - Stories from New Queer India, a compilation of 32 short, real life stories of queer people from across the country.

  • Pop up KASHISH - The Godrej India Culture Lab hosted a special pop up edition of KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, the biggest LGBT film festival in South Asia

  • Diversity – Gender & Beyond – A panel discussion and audience interaction was held with Nisaba Godrej, Executive Director, Godrej Group and prominent activist Pramada Menon

  • The lab has also hosted talks by prominent personalities like:

    • Laxmi Tripathi - Prominent transgender activist, Laxmi Tripathi spoke on “Living within a different skin” as a transgender person at the mega pop-up Vikhroli Skin

    • Sushant Divgikar - At a special event; theatre, TV and film actor, singer, VJ and choreographer Sushant Divgikar shared his journey of representing India at Mr Gay 2014

Complete details can be found here:

About Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies (GILAC)

Established in 1897, the Godrej Group has its roots in India's Swadeshi movement. Our founder, Ardeshir Godrej, lawyer-turned-serial entrepreneur failed with a few businesses, before he struck gold with the locks business that you know today. One of India’s most trusted brands, with revenues of USD 4.1 billion, Godrej enjoys the patronage of over 1.1 billion consumers globally across our consumer goods, real estate, appliances, agri and many other businesses. You think of Godrej as such an integral part of India that you may be surprised to know that over 25 per cent of our business is done overseas.

We promise Godrejites a culture of tough love; take serious bets on them and differentiate basis performance. We also understand that our team members play multi-faceted roles and so, we strongly encourage them to explore their whole selves. Our canvas is growing. In fact, our Vision for 2020 is to be 10 times the size we were in 2010. We truly believe that while our amazing past distinguishes us, we are only as good as what we do next. Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies (GILAC) is part of the Godrej Group. It comprises 5 major companies with interests in real estate, FMCG, agriculture, chemicals and gourmet retail.

Video Bites
Abhina Aher, Founder, The Dancing queens states her vision and describes the journey of Dancing Queens.
The Dancing Queens, Abhina Aher, Urmi Jadhav and Madhuri Sarode talk about their performance at Godrej.

Visit us at:
Follow us on:
For Media Queries: