Durex The Birds and Bees Talk Launches Rainbow Classrooms Initiative to Promote Gender Inclusivity in Schools

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Business Wire India

Reckitt, a global leader in consumer health, hygiene, and nutrition, proudly announces the launch of the Rainbow Classrooms initiative under its Durex The Birds and Bees Talk (TBBT) program, in partnership with Plan India. This initiative aims to transform schools into inclusive, supportive environments by promoting gender inclusivity and fluidity. Through vibrant, rainbow-colored doors and comprehensive gender identity education for teachers, the program seeks to create safe spaces where every student feels valued and respected.

In many parts of India, gender identity issues are often oversimplified, misunderstood, and rarely taught in schools. Recognizing the critical role of educators in addressing these issues, Reckitt, under its Durex TBBT program, has developed India’s first gender diversity course specifically designed for teachers. With the support of the Government of India and the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), this comprehensive course equips teachers with the knowledge and tools to support and guide students on gender diversity and related issues.

The Rainbow Classrooms initiative is a testament of promoting inclusivity, built through painting doors of classrooms in rainbow colours as a reward and recognition for schools and teachers who have been strong advocates of diversity and inclusion. These schools and teachers have emerged as chain breakers when it comes to supporting their students in the process of growing up and creating encouraging educational environments.

Gaurav Jain, Executive Vice President, Reckitt – South Asia, emphasized the significance of this initiative: “The Rainbow Classrooms initiative is a crucial step in our mission to create inclusive and safe educational environments. By empowering educators and transforming school spaces, we aim to foster a culture of acceptance and respect that will positively impact students’ lives. This initiative reflects our broader commitment at Reckitt to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work.”

Ravi Bhatnagar, Director of External Affairs & Partnerships, SOA, Reckitt, highlighted Reckitt’s year-round commitment to community support: “At Reckitt, we are dedicated to promoting inclusivity and providing continuous support to the communities we serve. The Rainbow Classrooms initiative is a testament to our ongoing efforts to create safe and supportive environments for students, not just during Pride Month but throughout the entire year. By fostering acceptance and understanding, we are empowering the next generation to embrace their identities and contribute to a more inclusive society.”

The initiative will include a series of engaging activities across Sikkim, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh, such as painting competitions, extempore contests, and workshops on gender equality and inclusion. These activities will involve students, teachers, parents, and government representatives, aiming to create a broad impact and foster a culture of acceptance and respect for all gender identities.
 
Asif Mohammed, Executive Director, Plan International (India Chapter), said, “At Plan International, we believe that every child has the right to feel safe, accepted, and valued in their educational environment. The Rainbow Classrooms initiative is a powerful step towards rewarding our schools. By creating vibrant, welcoming spaces and equipping educators with the necessary tools and knowledge, we are laying the foundation for a more inclusive and equitable society where every student can thrive and embrace their identity without fear or prejudice.”

Durex The Birds and Bees Talk Programme is an innovative and pioneering initiative that has focused on inculcating growing up life skills for adolescents in the north-eastern region of India. Through its systematic intervention, the programme encourages conversations around sexual and reproductive health among adolescents, teachers, and their community members. Adolescent girls and boys in the country lack access to information on issues affecting their lives and have limited spaces to develop competencies crucial for their active participation. TBBT programme is addressing these challenges by imparting critical and age-appropriate information, promoting healthy and safe behaviour and practices, as well as equipping adolescents with life skills, values and attitudes to become responsible adults.