Panaji: LGBTs are suffering from “psychological” disorders caused by following American lifestyle, and a health and medicine expo organised jointly by Goa and the central government and an RSS-linked NGO will have “counselling centres to cure such maladies”, organisers said on Thursday.
The three-day expo will begin on 27 March.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Deepak Ghume of Bhopal-based NGO Arogya Bharti, which has links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said the expo was being organised jointly by Arogya Bharti, the Goa government and the union ministry for Ayush, which is headed by Minister Shripad Naik.
The newly-formed ministry looks after affairs related to alternative medicine streams of ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy.
“We will have counselling. There will be yoga centres too. Yoga can help better,” Ghume said, calling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) orientation a “psychological disorder”.
The comments comes two months after Goa’s Youth Affairs Minister Ramesh Tawadkar promised to set up clinics across Goa, as part of the State Youth Policy, to “cure” LGBT youth and “normalise” them by through training and medication.
Tawadkar’s comments had received nationwide condemnation.
However, like Ghume, other organisers also believe that alternative medicine and counseling can “cure” LGBT orientation, the cause for which they claim was Western, more specifically “American lifestyle”.
“Nowadays, people are getting attracted to Western culture more I think, because of which such things are increasing. Western meaning American lifestyle, (which) people are trying to follow, all those things,” another organiser Shipra Lawande told IANS.
Lawande heads Arogya Bharti’s school-related projects.
She claimed that counseling and awareness of the LGBT segment was a must, because “such cases are increasing day by day”.
“I would say it requires some sort of counselling and there should be some awareness. We should and try to put some light on that if possible. We will try to arrange some speakers on this. Because it’s a very important topic nowadays. Cases are increasing day by day,” she said.
Subhash Velingkar, Goa head of RSS, was also present at the media interaction.
Yoga guru Ramdev’s associate Acharya Balkrishna and yoga guru Shri Shri Ravishankar are also expected to attend the expo.