COMMUNITY HERO Honourees
Supported by our Community Partner – ILGA Asia
I am Farhan Wilayat from Lahore (Pakistan), a philanthropist, social activist and minority rights activist. I am running various projects for public welfare and community development for the rights and welfare of less-fortunate, underprivileged and marginalized communities. I also organize interfaith activities to reduce racial intolerance and to eliminate religious extremism in Pakistan. Many of my projects have been nationally and internationally acclaimed and acknowledged.
“Frankly speaking, when I saw your email in my inbox, I initially couldn’t believe my eyes that I had been nominated for this recognition. I am extremely excited because I always tried to keep low profile because working for LGBTs is considered as a biggest sin in Pakistan (as per the conservative thinking of local public) and it is totally unsafe as Pakistani people cannot tolerate it at all. This will be my first opportunity to be nominated for who I really am (as all previous international awards given to me by the presidents/ governors of different countries were only on my community development programs). I really look forward to hearing from your office.”
I, Gopi Shankar, was born in Sellur slum at Madurai, Tamil Nadu. I am an intersex and genderqueer person. At the age of fourteen, I started volunteering at the Ramakrishna Mission. In 2005, I was given spiritual initiation under the spiritual lineage of Swami Vivekananda by Swami Gitanandaji (former Vice-president of Ramakrishna Math and Mission) who is also a disciple of Swami Virajananda). In April 2010 I left Ramakrishna Math to pursue Religion, Philosophy, and Sociology studies at The American College in Madurai (affiliated to Madurai Kamaraj University). I have also been a student of Yoga for more than 15 years and served as Yoga Instructor for 5 years. The plight and situation of the SOGIESC community in India made me want to be an activist. I was awarded a Leadership Degree “Leading Change” exclusively for The Queen’s Young Leaders from the University of Cambridge in 2017.
I am the co-founder of Srishti Madurai, a student-run volunteer intersex rights movement.
“I feel very humbled for being nominated in the Community Hero category of the Hero Award. The journey and achievements as an activist and service provider have been very challenging and without any support from outside resources. Being nominated in the Hero Award Category is a motivation and encouragement for the work I have done until now. I hope sometimes getting the attention for the work we are doing or had done in the past is not wrong.”
My name is Nyampurev, everyone calls me Sunday. I’m 33 years old. I am an open and proud gay who lives and works in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. My open gay status gives me an opportunity to work free in LGBTIQ+, HIV and human rights field. It’s been 16 years since I came out while I was working at the Together Center NGO. Since then, my work and life became one.
“I felt extremely joyful and honored that I was nominated as one of the distinguished nominees. The nomination itself encourages me to be thankful and work even harder for my community.”