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Ashok Row Kavi is an Indian journalist and one of India’s most prominent LGBT rights activists. Ashok Row Kavi was born in 1947 and began his career training as an engineer. After dropping out of engineering school and struggling with his sexuality, he enrolled as a Hindu monk in the Ramakrishna Mission. However, he later left the monastery after a senior monk had encouraged him to explore his sexuality.
Ashok became a journalist and set up the Humsafar Trust, an LGBT rights and health services NGO. The trust runs community outreach groups and carries out gender and sexuality research. It also hosts a number of intervention programmes (funded by national and international organisations and private donors) for HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections in Mumbai and Goa.
Ashok regularly contributes to magazines, newspapers and journals across the global on the subjects of homosexuality, LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS. He was listed as one of India’s Seven Most Influential Gay & Lesbian individuals by Pink Pages magazine.