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Country's First Lesbian Helpline Kicks off in TN

M Ramya
Chennai: India got its first dedicated lesbian helpline as the Indian Community Welfare Organisation (ICWO) launched the service in Chennai on Saturday.

Triggered by the tremendous social stigma that the lesbians face in the country, the helpline (044–65515742) has also roped in Action–Aid, a service organisation, to provide technical expertise and train the counsellors.

ICWO works in the field of TD/HIV/AIDS prevention among high–risk groups. “We have been working with homosexuals for 10 years and have often faced queries from the lesbians. The helpline has been started to register their queries and provide support. When we heard about a lesbian couple committing suicide last year, we thought it was time to act,” said ICWO founder secretary A J Hariharan.

The helpline, which will be available between 9 am and 6 pm on working days, is aimed at stopping the ill–treatment that the lesbians face, identifying and referring need–based services, providing counselling services, dealing with suicide tendency among members of the community and referring them livelihood opportunities.

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Source: Times of India

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