The stereotype of a money-hungry, profit-seeking corporate employee is well established in mainstream culture. A large part of our current issues with materialism and lack of empathy is attributed to this class of people. Which is what makes the Indian School of Business’ Pride Walk in support of the LGBT+ community, across both its campuses on the 25th of June, such an encouraging and heartwarming effort.
A greater emphasis on social consciousness, diversity and inclusion is perhaps what sets the current generation apart from any other, and nowhere was that more evident than in the overwhelming numbers in which the students at ISB turned up to be a part of this endeavor. On a Sunday afternoon, even with assignments and exams breathing down their necks as usual, ISB’s students proved that their priorities were firmly in place. And they did so with all the gusto and enthusiasm that the school is now famous for. With rainbow flags, colorful wigs, painted faces and the sound of laughter ringing through the campus; it was both a celebration as well as an emphatic triumph.
The event owes its success, in no small part, to the tireless efforts of Sarab Gurshan Singh; a current student who coordinates the LGBT+ special interest group’s efforts on campus, to raise awareness about the trials and tribulations faced by this much marginalized community among the aspiring business leaders of tomorrow.
“About 2 weeks before the scheduled pride parade, I released a fun, informative video on LGBT+ to make everyone understand why and for whom are we celebrating the pride month for”, he said. “Soon after the video went up, I started working with a local friend to get massive rainbow flags made, which were put up at the Atrium, the Rec Centre, the Student Villages and all across campus. The scale was important because we wanted everyone to see these flags all around them, and help them understand that there is diversity everywhere we look, be it in sexual preferences or life experiences. The entire student body was involved; from the Student Life Council, who sourced all the accessories that were used, to volunteers and student representatives, to even the spouses of those who are studying here. The outpouring of energy and enthusiasm from the hundreds of people who showed up, as well as the overwhelmingly positive response after the event, has been extremely heartwarming.”
While the group has only been in existence for slightly over a year (it was initiated by last year’s batch), other premier institutions across the country have also taken up the mantle of ensuring discourse and discussion on this matter. ISB plans to reach out to some of them over the course of the current year, as well as continue to have at least one event on campus every term, to ensure that the interest and education of its students is sustained. Seeing how these very students will be responsible, in the near future, for hiring people, framing company policies and contributing to the overall working environment of boardrooms across every sector, the magnitude of events such as the Pride Walk can in no way be understated. For any social change to have a lasting impact, it is overwhelmingly important for it to occur organically. If that is truly the case, the students at both campuses (Hyderabad and Mohali) of the Indian School of Business, are off to the best possible start.
Srijeet Bhattacharjee, Class of 2018