Kranti

Kranti empowers girls from Mumbai's red-light areas to become agents of social change.
Jan 28, 2015

I jumped off a mountain for Xmas!!

Selfie at our Xmas/New Year home!
Selfie at our Xmas/New Year home!

Dear Kranti Friends,

Can you believe 1/12th of 2015 is already done? I can’t! Life is so, so busy, sometimes I feel very old. :) But I am 17. My name is Asmita Katti, but everyone call me Ashi. I am so happy for 2015 because this year many many big things will happen, for me and for Kranti. This year I am going to finish 12th! That is biggest thing...but November and December were so exciting at Kranti, we are all excited for what 2015 will bring.

During winter break many people travel to hot places. But Mumbai is already hot...so we Krantikaris travel to cold places! This winter we went to Himachal Pradesh, which is the second most north state in India and it is the foothills of the Himalayas.  For one week, we stayed at an old monastery and our theatre teacher came from Delhi to teach us theatre....from 7am everyday to 7pm! At 7pm it was soooo dark and cold that we all stayed under our blankets and told ghost stories. Except for one day – we started at 5am because a secret donor paid for allllll of us to go paragliding! (Photo and video below.)

After that we went to a science camp that is made for kids who do not have very good science in school. We all studied in red-light area school and we always thought we hate science. But in four days of science camp we did so many amazing things, making catapults, opening electronics, operating machines...we all learn that we don’t hate science, we hate how our school teaches science. We are all looking for more interesting ways to learn science in Mumbai!

And lastly, one of the Krantikaris left us for a few months – Kavita left on 6 Jan to sail Semester at Sea, a university program on a ship that sails 12 countries in five months. The ship will come to India in March so we hope to see her. Like all of us Krantikaris, it was very hard for Kavita to get her passport, visas, etc. But then one journalist wrote about her and she was on the front page of a national newspaper! Then lotttsss of journalists started calling and many people offered their help, like Bollywood actresses and Mumbai’s politicians! Anyway, we are sad for her to go but very happy for her journey.

I think “thank you” can never say enough for all the amazing people we have in our lifes. We are soooo lucky to have so many supporters like you around the world, most we never met but you support us and our dreams always. I never, never thought I will go paragliding, but now I am so confident that I can do anything...I am even ready to skydive someday! :) I hope all of you are having a wonderful, wonderful 2015. I hope all year is filled with family, friends and happiness for you!

Love,
Ashi

 

Yes it was THAT cold!
Yes it was THAT cold!
Flying!! Just for 20 minutes. :)
Flying!! Just for 20 minutes. :)
Kavita with her passport and Morocco visa
Kavita with her passport and Morocco visa

Links:

Jan 6, 2015

Happy New Year :)

UN Award
UN Award

Happy New Year to everyone!!

I had forgotten to mention that I got  UN Youth Courage Award last September. It was a great feeling.

It’s been an exciting year for me. Sophomore year is a challenge but I had so much fun with my suitemates, two of whom were Indians, which was great. This year I found myself become more comfortable at Bard and with American culture. I was happy and excited and got closer to my friends from last year.

The whole semester was challenging but wasn’t impossible to get through and I had my amazing friends to spend time with and to have some fun. I also participated in the biggest event on campus, “Cultural Show at Bard”. I had danced on Bollywood songs with my south Asian friends and it was so much fun. It reminded of Kranti and how we all used to turn the lights off and dance to our favorite Bollywood songs.

Do guys know Sheetal is here?? If you don’t know then you should probably Google her :P. She is quite famous for getting into a drum school in Washington, D.C. She is not just famous but also one of my closest friend from Kranti. Having her here is the best thing that could happen this semester. Having someone from back home and who is close to you it’s great. I am in D.C. with her right now. I got here when I was done with my fall semester. I visited her almost every single break this term. When we hang out we talk in our language. It is Hindi but it’s little different. It’s so much fun when no one around us understands us. I am so glad she is here but I am also sad that I am going to leaver day after tomorrow.

Yeah, I am doing a semester abroad. Do checkout semesteratsea.org it is an amazing opportunity for students to study and explore the world. I won’t believe I am going to be on a ship for four months the whole semester. We’ll be travelling to 12 different countries. No one in this whole world can understand how excited I am and my love for travelling. Yes there are 600 people who are going on this ship but this is different for me. I had never ever in my whole life had imagined this was possible. This is another dream come true for me. I had applied for Spring2013 before applying to Bard and I had also gotten in but couldn’t get my passport on time. But you know there is a saying in Hindi, “Jo bhi hota hai acheke liye hota hai.” Which basically means,”Whatever happens, happens for the good”. And it’s true at least in this case because if I had been on Semester at Sea in Spring2013 then I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to sail with my sister, Kavita. That’s right- another great news; she is sailing with me on SAS Spring2015. It couldn’t have gotten any better sailing with a person I have always talked about staying together with. And this time I also got full scholarship for the program. Seriously what else do I want? This is perfect.

I just can’t wait to start my journey. And I have also started a blog to keep everyone updated on Kavita’s adventures here’s a link to it http://travellingbarefoot.blogspot.com/ if you are interested in readingJ.

I hope exciting things are happening in your lives too.

Shweta

Ready to Sail Semester at sea
Ready to Sail Semester at sea
With Sheetal in NYC
With Sheetal in NYC

Links:

Jan 2, 2015

*drum roll* Happy New Year!

My new year resolution
My new year resolution

A very Happy New Year to all of you! Thank you so much for all your support this year.

I ended the year  by completing two certificate courses in English. One is from Teaching House, and the other from American University. I also took classes to prepare myself for taking the TOEFL exam. These classes were quite challenging for me- I could hardly pronounce some of the words I had to learn the meanings for, but I am working hard towards it.

My English has improved a lot mostly from having to live in Washington, D.C. and being forced to speak to everyone in English for anything that I want. I most enjoy my random conversations with friendly people on the buses and coffee shops here. At a Starbucks I spoke to a retired blind lesbian couple and found out their life story. On the regular N4 bus I take to go to my English classes, an old Indian Aunty told me about how she migrated to the U.S. after marriage and all the struggles she faced. She couldn’t speak any English at all then, and look at her now! She assured me that I would also get over my struggles.

I am preparing for my drum band concert at the end of January. For one of the songs I am playing the Bongo, which is new for me, since I have only played 8 piece drum sets so far. It was great practicing with the band than just learning on my own in one-to-one classes, since I could meet new people in the band and make new friends.

I look forward to your continued support in the coming year. My best wishes to you all!

Discussing the Revolution with RevolutionaryShweta
Discussing the Revolution with RevolutionaryShweta

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