Tag Archives: helpline

Announcing the helpline

25 May

Confused about your sexual orientation?

Worried about your gender identity?

Need somebody to talk to?

Need information on queer life?  

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Qashti is excited to announce its helpline,

starting on June 1st

Wednesdays (from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm) and on Saturdays (from 4:00 om to 6:00 pm)


Fundraising and PARTY!!

5 May

Greetings from Qashti! Over the last few months we’ve had the pleasure of seeing many of you at our bi-monthly Matargashti meetings and sharing some wonderful conversations and fun times! We have great plans for the coming months: more Matargashtis and fun events, of course but also setting up and starting our helpline for LBQTGFAB people. Here is where you come in: to print brochures and stickers about Qashti, run the helpline and organize our bi-monthly events, we need your help and support!  The eight core members of Qashti each give Rs 100 every month towards these. We also received Rs 1300 from donations at the last Matargashti/ We would love your help in meeting our expenses too – no donation is too small!

We have a list of our expenses for the future – both immediate expenses that we absolutely need to function, and longer-term expenses:

Immediate Expenses (May 2013 onwards)
Type of Expense Item Cost details Amount (INR)
Publicity Brochure printing costs 2000 copies in colour 7500
  Stickers with helpline numbers printing costs 2000 stickers 10000
Outreach — meetings with other organisations working in the community travel expenses mainly, possible booking of a hall/venue for meetings Rs 500 each for 8 people X 5 organisations 20000
Events food, plates, glasses, etc Rs 200 per matargashti (24 events in 12 months) 4800
Helpline Initial phone expenses Rs 250 per SIM card x 2 500
  Initial internet expenses Rs 3000 for a dongle 3000
  Ongoing phone bills approx Rs 500 per month for 12 months 6000
  Ongoing internet bills approx Rs 1000 per month for 12 months 12000
Documentation Stationery ((files, folders, pens, notebooks, binder clips, pen drives)   5000
  Total   68800
Long-term Expenses (2013-2014)
Item Details Units Cost/Unit Total cost (INR)
Space for the helpline and drop-in centre One time brokerage cost 1 6000 6000
Monthly rent for the space 12 6000 72000
Electricity and water cost 12 2,000 24000
Kitchen expenses Refrigerator, hot plate and heater   6000 0
Kitchen utensils
(plates, glasses and cutlery)
  1000 1000
Furniture Air cooler 1 5000 5000
Bean bags, tables, mattress and chairs   5000 5000
Resource pmaterial Books and movies for reference 1 8000 8000
Total       121000

To kick things off, we are having a fundraising party on Saturday 18th May. To buy tickets and get the venue details, please call us at 9711282307 by 16th May.  Suggested ticket price: Rs 150 (less is ok, more is awesome). 

Please email us at qashtilbt@gmail.com or contact us on http://www.facebook.com/qashti.lbt if you would like to donate, participate or support us in any way.

Also, we are trying to set up an office space for Qashti to function from, so any usable office stuff like computers, printers, office furniture that you can donate will be very useful. We are happy to come by and collect it from you if you like.

Thank you so much your time and generosity,


The Qashti Team

Qashti in the News!

18 Mar

The fine folks at Time Out Delhi are the first to cover Qashti in the news! Stay tuned for more articles!

TimeOut article

Fresh off the boat

A volunteer at Qashti reveals more about this new organisation for people assigned female at birth.

“In the morning, when I pass the chhola-kulcha guy, he calls me ‘didi’; in the evening when I come back, he says ‘chhole khane hai, bhaiya?’” This was overheard at one of the “matargashti” meetups run by Qashti, Delhi’s newest LBT (lesbian, bisexual, trans) group.

Qashti describes itself as a “feminist collective for and by lesbian, bisexual, FTM trans and genderqueer people who have been assigned female at birth (LBQTGFAB).” The acronyms and political jargon aside, it’s quite simple: people are usually assigned a gender at birth, (“it’s a girl!”) but that doesn’t always match up to the gender that they actually feel they are. At Qashti, anyone who was assumed to be female at birth is welcome, no matter what gender – male, trans, female, butch, genderqueer, femme, androgynous, other, none – they are now. Not coincidentally, there are easier ways of talking about the gender options for people who were assigned male at birth: they might be hijras, kothis, queens, drag queens, as well as being transgender or genderqueer – and there are quite a few groups and spaces that recognise these. It’s much harder to find spaces that are aware of and openly welcoming of the gender options starting on the female end of the spectrum, so Qashti is hoping to remedy that a bit.

In spite of the seriousness with which they take the gender politics, Qashti’s matargashtis are informal, easygoing affairs, something like a support group crossed with a board game house party. Discussion veers easily from which pronouns people want to use for themselves to a recipe for cake, mishti doi, dhokla; to someone’s memory of being caught kissing a girl in the school loo (“we both said ‘sorry ma’am’, I don’t know why!”) to the rules of Uno, all accompanied with chai and chatter. There is no set meeting space; the events so far have been at private houses, public parks, and borrowed organisational spaces. There is no charge for anything, but people are encouraged to bring snacks or, since the collective is non-funded, give donations.

The matargashti meetups are fun and badly needed, but people often also have serious troubles that they don’t want to talk about openly in front of a group. So over the course of the year, Qashti also plans to start a helpline for LBQTGFAB people and  their issues. It will run for two days a week, and will be staffed by volunteers trained in feminist principles and counselling techniques. As well as providing counselling, they will act as a resource centre, giving references to services that people might need, like queer-friendly doctors, lawyers, psychologists, other support groups, meeting spaces and so on.

The helpline will start in June 2013, and will involve outreach to as many different types of people and organisations as possible, across classes. In addition to LBT organizations, Qashti plans to reach out to women’s groups, NGOs working in bastis, and to a wider audience via print media, pamphlets and stickers in public places with contact information. There is such a need for support and resources for LBQTGFAB that it is very hard to rein in the wish to do everything, and just try to do a few things well. Ideally, there would be many more such spaces, helplines, shelters and resource guides!


Qashti ki Matargashti is next on Sunday, March 31st. The date has been changed from the 24th because too many people are out of town for the holidays around Holi and Good Friday. 


20 Feb

Qashti is a feminist non-profit, non-funded collective for and by lesbian, bisexual, FTM trans and genderqueer people who have been assigned female at birth (LBQTGFAB). This group was formed by a group of friends and aims at providing a safe space for LBQTGFAB across socio-economic classes in the Delhi/NCR area.

Twice a month, Qashti hosts informal events where people can meet, share stories, watch movies, discuss issues or just have fun. We meet regularly on the first and third Saturday/Sunday of each month to accommodate those who may have family or/and work commitments on weekends.

Qashti will also run a helpline for LBQTGFAB with counsellors trained in feminist principles of counselling. This helpline will be launched in June 2013.

We’d love to hear from you, network with you and be included in your events, so please email us at qashti.lbt@gmail.com. You can also reach us on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/qashti.lbt Hope to hear from you soon!