I hope you are all wonderful! I am sorry for not writing – but it has been very crazy for two months. I had mid-term exams, traveled to Bangalore for a TEDx talk, visited everyone in Mumbai and am back in New York but still doing a lot of media interviews and trying to catch up on studying. It is busy but still an amazing month.
When I flew to Bangalore, Robin (Kranti staff) brought my mother by bus and told her they were going to a workshop. So I hid behind some trees as Robin and my mom walked into the hotel, and then my mom sat down. Robin took out her phone, acting like she was checking email but she started recording. I was afraid my mom would die of a heart attack, but when I popped out from behind the trees and yelled “Mummy!” she just hugged me and started crying. I think someone at Kranti had given her a hint because she was not so surprised! My speech was in English so she did not understand much, but she just smiled alllll day and so many people came and congratulated her afterwards. I am THE luckiest person in this universe to have her as my mother!!
Then we got on a bus to Mumbai, with the next plan to surprise the Kranti girls. My mother and Robin went in early, then I knocked on the door casually. The girls opened the door and started screaming and screaming and screaming! (Video below.) We hugged and laughed for a while, and then I started on my big mission in Mumbai – eating! Bani (Kranti staff and chef extraordinaire) had made fish rice for my arrival, but on my flight I had made a list of all the things I wanted to eat in Mumbai, especially street food. The six days in Mumbai flew by – eating, talking and laughing. We went to several movies, we performed our play in Mumbai’s biggest theater, and celebrated Women’s Day together. I could not believe how six days ended so fast…I am so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life.
It was hard to leave India, and I am struggling with a lot of things since coming back to Bard. I miss my family, everyone at Kranti and it is hard to fit into regular American culture sometimes, especially when people talk about TV shows I’ve never seen. There are some great changes I see in myself, like last year when I started college, I was struggling with my English and adjusting to the new environment. This semester, my English is amazing and I am thinking more about my identity and what I really want to do with my life. But classes are still hard…nothing in my Indian education ever prepared me for the amount of thinking, reading and writing required at Bard. But my problems make me more determined to improve things for my friends in Kamathipura (Mumbai’s red-light area) and my sisters at Kranti.
I know many of you are thinking I live a crazy, interesting life. I do – and it’s thanks to people like you. I can’t thank you enough for supporting me and making all of these opportunities possible. I cannot believe I am at Bard, I cannot believe I got to go home for a week, but even more, I can’t believe all the amazing people in my life. People who bring me joy, love me unconditionally (even if I fail!) and remind me how important I am. I hope you have such amazing people in your life too – please take the time to thank them today!
Dear Kranti supporters,
I would like to introduce myself- I am Kavita. Hosmani, the newest revolutionary of Kranti. I am 19 years old and have just finished my 12th grade. I am hoping that being part of Kranti, I will be able to study further. At the moment, I take many classes to improve my English, as well as attend Dance Movement Therapy and Theatre classes with the rest of the revolutionaries. I am going to share with you the many things that we have done in the last few months.
To begin with, we have been having a series of classes on social justice topics such as poverty, gender, sexuality, human rights, capitalism, colonialism, religion and many more. This has given me the chance to understand the society that I live in again and also, to learn from the other revolutionaries about the issues they have faced in their lives such as discrimination and marginalization.
In January, one of our revolutionaries, Asmita Katti attended the Indian Youth Jam Training 2014 in Bangalore, where she learnt had the chance to meet with participants from all over India. She, also, listened to many change-makers about their stories, and how they are making the world a better place slowly. Even I attended a training in Himachal Pradesh to learn about community media. I am particularly fascinated by how local communities are setting up local radio stations to communicate and discuss local issues.
As part of Kranti’s work is to support LGBT rights, we took part in the pride march to protest the Supreme Court’s judgement to recriminalize homosexuality. During the march, we met with people from different NGOs and it was nice to see the LGBT community working together.
Since LGBT rights is so important to us, we discussed it in our play ‘Humans of Kamathipura’. This play was performed in many places since January such as the Goa Project 2014, Ink Women and FICCI Frames 2014. The audience loved our work and we kept having people coming and talk to us about our performance. It felt so good when people came and told us nice things about our work- it gave us confidence to continue with our theatre project.
Also, Shweta Katti, the first girl from Mumbai’s redlight area to go and study at a US university, came down to India. She gave a talk on her experiences and her life at TEDxNMIMS- we are waiting for the TEDx video to come out on Youtube so that we can share it with you.
So many things are happening in our lives and we are extremely excited. Thank you from all of us for your generosity, and we hope you will continue to support us.
Dear Kranti Supporters,
Greetings from Mumbai and from all of the Revolutionaries!
First of all, a million thanks for supporting our work thus far. All of the things the Revolutionaries have accomplished in the past two years would not have been possible without you.
Second, we wanted to inform you that we are closing down the “Build a Home” project on GlobalGiving. With Mumbai having the world’s most expensive real estate, we have decided to continue renting until someone decides to donate land or a building. In the meantime, all of the funds you have sent to the Build a Home project have either already been used for Kranti’s rent and housing expenses or will continue to be used for rent for the remainder of the year.
If you are a recurring donor, we would appreciate your support for one of our other projects, either Kranti’s operations (food, shelter, clothing, education): http://goto.gg/5490 or Shweta Katti’s Education Fund: http://goto.gg/14020
If you are an occasional donor and want to make future contributions to Kranti’s work, we would appreciate your support for our latest project, Community Theater for the Revolutionaries:http://goto.gg/16682
Again, we cannot thank you enough for your support. The past two years have been full of success and celebration as well as setbacks and challenges, and we are honored to have had your support. We look forward to your involvement with Kranti in the upcoming years as well.
Warm regards,The Kranti Team