Kranti

Kranti empowers girls from Mumbai's red-light areas to become agents of social change.
Jun 3, 2013

No house yet...building a library instead!

Dear Kranti Friends & Supporters,

It has been a busy couple of months at Kranti! This is not, however, due to tons of activities and programs, however, it is due to loud drilling and construction! Six months ago, a local university decided to take on the task of designing and building Kranti's new library. They did an excellent job designing, starting with conversations with the girls and research on how we used (or didn't use!) our library. The students then went through three phases of designing, sharing and reassessing their designs. 

After 2 months, this resulted in a finalized design that we decided to create. Some features include: collapsible desks so the space can be used for studying or meetings, interlocking shelves so we can relocate them when we move, storage space above and below bookcases, and corner seating for a lazy day of reading. Although we still do not have all the funds necessary to complete the work, we are excited to get started and work towards a future of utilizing our library for learning and reading (and not just for storage). 

We will be adding photos as the library progresses, and 14-year-old Saira will also be narrating some short videos from the beginning, middle and end of our building process. Stay tuned and thanks for all of your support and help!

Warm regards,
Robin 


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May 9, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to all...esp. sex workers!

Pinky and Mom
Pinky and Mom

Dear Kranti Supporters,

I haven’t posted an update for a while because I am in a rural internship right now. But I’m writing to you to share some very important information – I have been accepted to Bard College in New York, I have my passport, and I am going to the USA in August to chase my dreams!

None of this would be possible without the most important person in my life – my mother. She was the one listened to me and was always by my side. When I was a child, I told my dad about going to America and studying there - my dad made fun of me. But my mother told me I could do it and that I had the ability to do it. She's the one who believed in me. She encouraged me to do different things like going to dance class and learn English. My dad was always angry about me going out or going to dance classes. He never allowed me to do these things. But my mother did everything she could possibly do to keep me safe, especially when people called me an “ugly dark girl.” My dad even told me that “nobody is going to marry you because you are ugly and dark; your heart is as dark as your skin colour.” I felt really bad that day and was crying but my mum was there to support me. She was the one that told me I was beautiful.

She always helped me make big decisions, and staying away from my family was my first big decision. She said “Shweta, I believe in you; whatever you'll decide, I know that it's for your own good. Don't worry, just do whatever you think is right.” In the second biggest decision of my life, taking a gap year, she wasn't convinced – she thought I was wasting a year – but she didn't prevent me from doing it. And now I'm going to be away from home for four years and she's still encouraging me and inspiring me. I have the best mother in the world!

Here is a video of me and my mother on the local news!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf-VrJQlTcU

 

Thoughts from other Revolutionaries: 

Sheetal: My mum is everything for me. It's because of her I'm here – at Kranti, in the world. She always loves me a lot. In my sorrows, in my joys, in my successes, she's always there for me. If my mum is not there, there is nothing in my life. My mum is the only person who can understand me. Nobody in the world can understand us better than our mums, and even if my mum doesn't agree with my decisions, she still supports me. Here is a video of me talking about my mother!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppbCCu16Fho

Laxmi: In Hindi ma is just one character, but its meaning is immeasurable. I can't explain it. The word has no end. My mum is really loving. She has had a lot of problems and troubles in her life, but she still taught me the best ethics possible. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful mother!

Pinky: I miss my mother a lot because she lives in Kolkata, I see her for just a couple hours every six months. I try to remember happy memories of when I lived with her and I hope we will have a good future together some day. Here is a picture of me and my mother!

 So – Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who make sacrifices so their children can have a better future than they had. :)

Sincerely,
Shweta

Links:

Apr 5, 2013

Old Dreams, New Ideas

Cafe Zoe: Photos on walls are original building!
Cafe Zoe: Photos on walls are original building!

Dear Kranti Supporters & Friends,

I hope all of you are well. We are busy as always, and our housing project is one thing that is very time consuming but will take years to produce results. But every time that I am out and about in Mumbai, I see hundreds of new skyscrapers which are either just being built or still lying empty. So we have decided on a new tactic – we plan to ask 10,000 people (builders, wealthy individuals) in Mumbai to donate a flat or two. Also, there are many hip, upcoming areas of Mumbai which used to be industrial areas and are now teeming with boutiques shops, nice cafes, high-end design/retail and entertainment venues. One such place is Café Zoe, which used to be an old mill and is now one of Mumbai’s best-known café/bars. Inspired by Café Zoe, we have decided to also seek an old abandoned building to make Kranti’s new home/business.

So once we start our hunt for the perfect building, what next? What do we say when face-to-face with a building owner?? The past month we have been working hard to create a small booklet which explains everything about Kranti: our mission, our goals, our needs. This booklet is in its final drafts, and we are printing 10,000 copies to distribute ALL over Mumbai! I’m uploading the latest copy of this booklet, and if anyone has any inputs, edits or ideas, please share them! We would love to hear from you, our supporters who will make this home possible. But please rest assured we are working hard and thinking daily about how to tackle the housing issue. You can help us by taking a look at our booklet, sharing your ideas and connecting us with anyone who might be able to help. Again, we are grateful for your support the past year and look forward to working with you in the upcoming years – let’s make Kranti’s home a reality!!

Warm regards, Robin

Cafe Zoe: Relaxing area
Cafe Zoe: Relaxing area
Rev planning home in Zoe, Staff listening amused
Rev planning home in Zoe, Staff listening amused

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