Srishti Madurai 5 years in my eyes – Akssar Chandran, Student, Kendriya Vidyalaya Madurai

Today people are no stranger to the works of SRISHTI Madurai. SRISHTI is known for its instrumental work in addressing issues related to gender and sexual orientation. The amount of work done by SRISHTI makes one think of it as a well-established organization which may be running for a long time. But the reality is quite astonishing. 

SRISHTI in fact has very humble beginnings at the American college just about four years ago. SRISHTI was started by Mr. M.Gopi Shankar and his fellow college students on 2nd September 2011. It is a student body which has worked for the LGBTQIA community in Madurai and its surroundings. Despite all this SRISHTI doesn’t identify itself as an organization. And it justifiably differs on a lot of grounds from a regular NGO. 

For starters SRISHTI is self-sufficient, unlike other welfare organizations SRISHTI is not dependent on the donations. SRISHTI is funded by its various member who contribute, for instance the founder, Mr. M. Gopi Shankar, taught Yoga to contribute to SRISHTI. Furthermore SRISHTI does not act like a commercial office where people do social work as an occupation. The members of SRISHTI in fact have their own occupations through which they aid SRISHTIand its activities. 

The member of SRISHTI believe that every drop of water contributes to the ocean and hence contribute every bit they can. SRISHTI is its members and its member are SRISHTI. Such is the way the organization works, by helping oneself and the people around them, the whole society can be bettered. This does not mean the work done by SRISHTI is small, it is in-fact world class. SRISHTI has organized several events and programs for the community at a global standard. They have organized Asia’s first genderqueer parade which was a success at the very first attempt with participants coming in from far and beyond. SRISHTI has also organized a unique film festival screening movies regarding sexual orientation. 

SRISHTI has also recognized other activists and writers with awards for their contribution. SRISHTI has also devised programs for education on gender and sexual orientation and carried out the same in various educational institutions. Through this programs SRISHTI has been able to spread awareness on this topic which is still considered a taboo by many. 

The biggest achievement of SRISHTI can be said to be the fact that it has been able to do all this in Madurai, which is considered to be one of the more conservative towns. In-fact with the help of SRISHTI Madurai has become more open minded than many of the metro cities in the acceptance of gender queers. The standard of work done by SRISHTI is made very high with the help of several luminaries including Ms. Anjali Gopalan and Dr. Bracha Ettinger who have constantly supported SRISHTIsince its inception. The hard work of SRISHTI’s membersworking as a self-less team has been a key factor for its humongous success. SRISTHI in fact has done work at quarter the time and money taken by other well established NGOs. 

Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in this world”, SRISHTI is proving to be that “much needed change” that this world requires.

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