The Humsafar Trust is an Indian organization working with LGBT and MSM (Men having Sex with Men) communities located in Mumbai. Since 1994 it has focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and raising consciousness about LGBT issues in India.
Until recently, The Humsafar Trust mainly supported adult gay men, but feels it’s important to also reach out to young LGBT’s and LBT (wo)men. That’s why it created two support groups for LGBT youth and LBT persons in 2011. With the SAHARA project, the trust aims to develop a safe space and a support system for both groups and its members who are facing pressure, immediate danger, or are in need of help. The trust will provide counseling, group activities, crisis management and legal support.
LGBT youth as well as LBT persons do not receive comparable services or have access to strong lines of support in India. The Humsafar Trust has dealt with numerous cases of teenage LGBTs threatening suicide, lesbians who are abused by their parents, and young LGBT people facing immense pressure from family members to marry. For instance in a recent case, a young lesbian girl was forcibly detained by her parents after running away from her husband, and they continue to threaten her with corrective rape. The Humsafar Trust sees cases like these frequently and believes that the groups mentioned are underserved by present funding structures and initiatives. It hopes to contribute to change through the SAHARA project.