Old age home for gays comes up in Gujarat village

The old age home at Hanmenteshwar village, located on the banks of Narmada river, was inaugurated yesterday and named after late American writer Janet, who generously donated funds for the project.

Talking to PTI today, the main architect behind the project, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil said, "I decided to name it after Janet as she had contributed a lot in its set up. She was like any other ordinary person...and that added more beauty to the project, which was initiated in 2009."

The centre was inaugurated by Janet's sister Carlafine, who accompanied by her husband, flew down from US for this purpose. Gohil belongs to the royal family of former princely state of Rajpipla. He is the only known person of royal lineage in modern India to have publicly revealed he is gay.

"The home can accommodate 50 elderly homosexuals," said Gohil, scion of the 650-year-old Rajpipla dynasty. The project has been developed under the auspices of Lakshya Trust, a community-based organisation founded by Gohil, known as India's gay prince, to provide support and promote HIV/AIDS prevention among gay men.

Gohil hoped his project would remove misgivings about homosexuals and help in promoting a society where people from different sexual orientation can co-exist peacefully. He said he was happy that a priest of a temple located near the home attended the inauguration ceremony along with his family which is a "good sign" and indicated towards changing mindsets.

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