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by Editorial Desk December 24 2023, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 14 secs

Sridhar Rangayan and Saagar Gupta were felicitated with Trailblazers of the Year Award, the highest recognition at the Likho Award for Excellence in Media recognizes LGBTQ+ representation in films, web series, etc., reports the #Newsdesk

Filmmakers, writers and producers Sridhar Rangayan and Saagar Gupta, producers of LGBTQ+ content for the past 22 years and in a relationship for 29 years, were felicitated with the Trailblazers of the Year Award, the highest recognition at the Likho Award for Excellence in Media, at a glittering event recently “for their motivating contribution in representing LGBTQ+ experiences in Media”.

The Likho Awards For Excellence In Media 2023 is aimed at recognizing exemplary works by the media in India that have a fair and inclusive representation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer communities. The citation reads, ‘We are proud to present the Likho Award for the Trailblazers of the Year to Sridhar Rangayan & Saagar Gupta in recognition of their impactful work. They are awarded as the Trailblazers for their dedication to promoting diversity and acceptance is truly commendable’.

Sridhar Rangayan said, “It is truly humbling to receive an award from your own community for the work you have done over the past three decades. We both did it as part of who we are, to prove our own existence, because when we started there was no reflection of our own lives in the media. It has been an uphill climb, pushing open doors that have been shut since centuries, but this award makes it all worth it.”

Saagar Gupta said, “This award will remain always special because it is the first award Sridhar and I have received together as a couple, and also because this acknowledgment comes from The Humsafar Trust, which is one of the flag-bearers of LGBTQ+ community. We are dedicating this award to our community, which is feeling heartbroken by the recent verdict on same-sex marriage, to reinforce hope in them that our dreams will turn into reality someday.”

Sridhar Rangayan and Saagar Gupta have over the past two decades produced numerous award winning and iconic films like Gulabi Aaina, Yours Emotionally, 68 Pages, Purple Skies, Breaking Free and Evening Shadows, together having won more than 50 international awards. Their films have screened at more than 300 film festivals. They  are preparing for the release of their next LGBTQ+ film Kuch Sapney Apne, which is a follow-up to their highly successful film Evening Shadows.

Suhail Abbasi, Chairperson of The Humsafar Trust said, “Sridhar's and Saagar's relationship is as old as The Humsafar Trust. Their love and dedication towards each other stood the test of time. When they embarked on their journey together, there were no real role models - they decided to become role models, give hope and aspiration to hundreds of people from the LGBTQ+ community. Together they have blazed the trail in the most exemplary style. They truly deserve to be the Trailblazers of the year at LIKHO Awards, 2023. Congratulating and wishing them loads of love and years of togetherness.”

Vivek Anand, CEO of The Humsafar Trust, said, “Sridhar and Saagar have spent a lifetime working together and their contributions in promoting LGBTQ+ rights and their work remains unparalleled. I have known both of them for almost three decades and their zest for acceptance as gay men and a gay couple drove them into unchartered struggles and a fight for equality. The LIKHO jury felt that their hard work needed recognition and as a community-based organization, the TRAILBLAZERS Award is a community gift to them. More power to them.”

Likho Awards for Excellence in Media 2023 for Outstanding Feature Film went to Badhai Do by Harshvardhan Kulkarni, Outstanding Book to I Am Onir and I Am Gay by Onir and Irene Dhar Malik, and Outstanding Podcast to Shuddh Desi Gay by Yogi & Kabeer, among many other awards.

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