Rajpipla prince builds first Indian old age home for gays in Guj

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Surat, Jun 20 (UNI) Prince Manvendrasinh Gohil, a self-proclaimed gay, is founding India's first old age home for homosexuals at Rajpipla in Gujarat.

The old age home for gays will be constructed at the cost of approximately Rs 30 crore. Spread over 13 acre of land, the home will have a state-of-the-art hospital and other facilities.

Known in Indian and Western world as 'Gay prince', he has the support of national and international gay community for the project.

Prince Manvendra, who belongs to one of the country's richest royal families that ruled the former Rajpipla principality, was disowned for ''activities unacceptable to the society'' as decreed by his parents.

Talking to UNI, he said, ''Our society has done a lot of injustice to the gay community. They are disowned, mentally tortured and outcast as if lepers. They are pressurised to marry a girl, but now gays in Gujarat have decided not to get marry and spoil the life of an innocent girl.'' ''Society has never appreciated feelings and problems of homosexuals. They are forced to live alone and at old age, when one needs maximum support, they live a miserable life,'' he rued and said hence he decided to build an old age home and a hospital for homosexuals that will cater to their needs during the old age.

His parents, the erstwhile royals, even disinherited him and issued notices in a Gujarati language daily withdrawing his right to the family property few years ago.

Forty-two-year-old prince, who came out of closet two years ago, says he has found happiness among Gujarat's gay community and is not interested in his inheritance. He was the third Indian to appear on world famous Oprah Winfry show.

''I am happy working for the community,'' said Gohil, who runs 'Laxya', a non-profit organisation working for homosexuals afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

NRI Jayant Trivedi, who was earlier living in Canada and now returned to Rajpipla to spend his old age, is actively supporting the prince in his ambitious project.

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