The Revolution is playing– they are going to be in the Limca Book of World Records for being part of the team with the most number of people water rappelling simultaneously! And Sumaiya, 8 years, won the gold medal in the District Level Wushu tournament! August has been a very productive month for learning at Kranti, both for the staff and the Revolutionaries. The entire Kranti team made a trip to Sangli, in rural Maharashtra, to meet the sex workers’ collective, Sangram (www.sangram.org), and learnt about organizing collectives. They had the opportunity to be inspired by empowered sex workers who were aware of and demanded and got their rights . Read our blog (www.kranti-india.org/blog) to find out more about the learning experiences of the Kranti team at Sangram. Two of the Revolutionaries– Aparna and Savita, started high school. Aparna is studying the sciences to pursue her dream of becoming a gynecologist , and Savita is studying commerce because she wants to handle Kranti’s accounts in the future. The staff of Kranti have been undergoing weekly training on counseling children who have faced sexual abuse. From 6-10th September Robin, our founder, will be attending the workshop- “We CAN Deal with Child Sexual Abuse” conducted by Lois Engelbrecht, who has over 18 years of experience in the field of Child Sexual Abuse and has helped set up centers working on CSA in cities across South East Asia. These trainings and workshops will build capacity in the staff to support the Revolutionaries to deal with and overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Our apologies for this embarrassingly late newsletter. We were busy moving mountains and stars!
A month long search and 12 rejections later, Kranti finally has a new home! We have shifted in and made it our own by painting our walls with inspirational, revolutionary quotes and symbols.
June saw the inception of an art workshop and a writer’s workshop for the Revolutionaries. The 3 month long art workshop will culminate in an exhibition and auction of the Revolutionaries’ art work to raise funds to purchase land to build Kranti’s permanent home in the next 12 months.
The writing workshop will help the Revolutionaries express themselves– their past, their future aspirations, their present struggles and achievements. Venting through writing will especially help the quieter Revolutionaries, who are not expressive through speech.
We are also extremely excited to be launching a new scholarship program for marginalized girls who want to go to high school. We are kick-starting our pilot program this month with seven bright girls, eager to study hard, and with revolutionary ideas to change the world!
But most exciting of all! Kranti is barging on to the international media scene! Al Jazeera International is currently in Mumbai shooting a documentary on Kranti to be telecast on their latest series, Save the Women, featuring female activists around the world. The Revolution is launching unto the world!
Report on Home for Revolutionaries
In the past 6 weeks, we have looked at 5 plots of land in Mumbai, it’s suburbs and surrounding towns (refer to map for locations), but they were, unfortunately, unsuitable.
The land in the surrounding towns were under-developed areas with no schools, hospitals and accessible public transportation. The Kranti home cannot be built in such an area because we will not be able to give the Revolutionaries a good education or health services, and we will cut off our volunteer base, as they will not be able to reach us regularly.
On the other hand, the land in Mumbai city is a whopping US$8.8 million per acre. Our requirement is a quarter acre, priced at US$2.2 million, which we cannot afford at the moment. Mumbai real estate is one of the most expensive in the world, even higher than Tokyo and Manhattan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Mumbai)!!!
Our next plan of action is to partner with corporations and try to get land from them at a subsidized rate. We are currently in negotiations with the Reliance Foundation for subsidized land in Virar, and are scheduling a meeting with Godrej for subsidized land in Vikhroli, both in the suburbs of Mumbai.