TED speaker-Malini Jeevarathinam

“Writing and art are weapons to bring about a change in the society “. We might have seen this just as a quote and moved on. But, in her case, she made it real. Struggles and issues are normal in our life. But she has faced a lot of oppression for loudly declaring her sexuality. She travelled several miles and raised her voice for the rights of LGBTQ community. Now, this human rights activist cum filmmaker is going to be with us on Feb 6th. She is none other than Malini Jeevarathinam.

Malini Jeevarathinam was born in Paramakudi, Ramnad district. She is from the LGBTQ community. She did her schooling in her native town and later, studied in Loyola College. Then, she joined hands with Director Pa. Ranjith and worked as an Assistant Director for the movie ‘Madras’. She also worked with Director Arun Prabhu for the film ‘Aruvi’.

In a bid to change the mindset of the people about her community, Malini directed a film called ‘Ladies and Gentlewomen’ which is Tamil’s first lesbian documentary film produced by Pa.Ranjith’s Neelam productions. Her own experience, with oppression and plight of the members of LGBTQ community face, in this misogynistic world was the main inspiration for her widely acclaimed film.

It was screened in 9 international film festivals and has won the best Documentary award in three festivals. It has been recognized as a film that gives voice to lesbian women’s rights.
She has travelled to so many small towns and villages for her community’s rights. She has so far spoken to over 30,000 people about Lesbian rights and its nuance with her signature style of sarcastic humour. She is the President of Human Rights Committee, Chennai.There is no lack of articles and social media messages that praises her activity to bring forth a change within us.

She will be one of the speakers in the event called ‘INNOVATE ‘19’- an intercollegiate talk show which is conducted by the TED club of MIT. It is going to be held on February 6th 2019. The speaker will present her own talk on breaking barriers to provide clarity on nuances of handling the hindrances in life.
So let us all be a part of it and break the barriers which averts us from achieving our ultimate goals.

Written by : Karthikeyan, second year, Automobile Department.

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