Discrimination has been prevalent in society as a glaring evil that highlights that underlying glitch in our understanding of humans. As humans, we have disintegrated ourselves into various categories based on gender identity, race, class, sexual orientation, sex, occupation, income, disability, etc.
To battle against the mentality that sparks issues, cases of violence, or general violence, Zero Discrimination Day is observed every year on March 1. The day was first launched by Michel Sidibe, director, UNAIDS, in December 2013. The next year on March 1, 2014, Zero Discrimination Day was observed for the very first time. UNAIDS led the way to cater to the people living with HIV/AIDS who face discrimination because of their ailment.
In India, this day backed the movement of the LGBTQIA+ community in India to repeal section 377 that criminalised homosexuality in the country. The law was finally repealed in September 2018. However, such cases had emerged before as well, when March 1 was not a day but a platform for people from various communities to raise their voices against discrimination.
This year, the theme for Zero Discrimination Day is ‘Remove Laws That Harm, Create Laws That Empower.’ The theme signifies the ardent need to fight and take action against the myriad discriminatory laws in multiple countries that result in people being treated differently. While some laws harm the sanctity of human rights, some seem to cripple the fundamental freedom in society.
The official symbol representing Zero Discrimination Day is a butterfly that is widely shared on various social media platforms along with the movement that one is supporting. Zero Discrimination Day fuels movements against laws that choose and make people culpable for simply who they are, where they are from, what they do, or who they love, and bring like-minded, indiscriminate mentalities together to trump discrimination.