The year kicked off by attending Mumbai's Pride Parade in regal Revolutionary garb! We made our presence felt as a group to reckon with as over 25 Kranti volunteers, staff and of course Revolutionaries danced along to Pride 2012 wearing t-shirts emblazoned with Kranti's logo. To own your very own Kranti t-shirt, just email us with your size and postal address.
We said in our last newsletter that as a continuation of 'Ability' month the Revolutionaries will be visiting and volunteering at a special school. The entire Kranti family spent a day in Sadhana School for special children, conducting art, sports and dance workshops for the children there. Not only was finger painting, basketball and Bollywood dancing super-fun for the Revolutionaries and the children, the Revolutionaries got hands-on experience of working with specially abled children.
Last month marked the 10th year anniversary of the communal genocide in Gujrat. The Revolutionaries attended a day long remembrance, with documentary screenings, photography exhibitions and panel discussions about the riots and learnt about the causes and nature of communalism. They were also part of activist rallies demanding justice for the families of the victims of the communal genocide.
And most exciting of all, we are now reaching out to 50 more marginalised girls with our leadership training and Social Justice Education Curriculum. We have been discussing Women's Rights all of February with the girls from Project Crayons, holding workshops on the current status of Women's Rights and what changes they want to make in them, and screening the Pakistani movie, Bol, around the issue of patriarchy. A group of students being educated byAkanksha visited Kranti, and not only learnt about our work, but learnt about food justice through the workshops we conducted with them.
Let the Revolution grow!
Kranti @Sadhana Special School
Revolutionaries speak about Sadhana Special School
Kranti made its first ever public performance on 17th December in front of a crowd of 250! The Revolutionaries participated, in an inter-NGO event, "Our Life. Our Choice.", advocating accepting, respecting and supporting women who defy the norms of society, like single mothers, queer women and sex workers. The Revolutionaries, completely independently, scripted and performed a series of monologues about the lives of sex workers, demanding dignity of labour, access to health and education, and protection from abuse by the law, for sex workers. Their performance was met by huge applause! Kranti has truly appeared on the non-profit sector in Mumbai!
The Revolutionaries turned activists this month, participating in protest rallies, candle light vigils and signing campaigns to support Irom Sharmila's 11 year long hunger strike to protest against the attrocities of the military against civilans in North-East India.
December was "Special Abilities" month at Kranti. The month started with workshops, teaching the Revolutionaries about the different kinds of disabilities, both physical and mental. They were also inspired by the success stories of people with Special Abilities, like Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking. We will continue with this theme in the new year too, where the Revolutionaries will visit and volunteeer in a school for special children.
But the most exciting event of all was the Revolutionaries trekking up to the Pindari Glacier in the Himalayas at 12000 feet! Last month, we told you about some of the Revolutionaries being inspired to climb Mt. Everest. Well, I guess that dream is well on it's way.
This November was Gender and Sexuality month at Kranti. The girls learnt about different gender and sexual identities and norms, how to be accepting of different identities and create safespaces for them, through multiple workshops. We also held movie screenings: XXY (about a transexual youth's experience of life) and Tale of the Night Fairies (about the unionisation of sex workers in West Bengal, India).
But it was the culmination of Gender and Sexuality month that was epic! The entire Kranti family took a trip to Bangalore to attend the Pride Parade. We also met other non-profits in Bangalore working in the area of sexuality and gender to learn about their work. From Sangama the Revolutionaries learnt about the health and legal rights of the transgender sex worker community. From LesBiT the Revolutionaries learnt about the work being done for the advancement of the human rights of lesbian and bisexual women, and Female to Male transgenders.
The older Revolutionaries attended TEDxMumbai and were inspired by all the speakers to find their passion, and pursue it all their lives as a profession. Krushnaa Patil, the youngest Indian woman to climb Mt. Everest at 19 years, Ashok Rathod, who started the Oscar Foundation when he was 18 to mobilise the youth in Mumbai's slums, were some of the speakers who inspired the Revolutionaries. Some of the Revolutionaries are now aiming to beat Krushnaa Patil's record to become the youngest Indian woman to climb Mt. Everest! And to encourage them, the Kranti family is taking a week long trek in the Western Ghats to celebrate Christmas and the New Year!
On the organisational front, Kranti partnered with Dream A Dream, who will train our staff and share their curriculum with us on how to use sports and the creative arts to develop life skills in the Revolutionaries. Through Dream A Dream's programs we will build decision-making, problem solving, communication and interpersonal skills, self-awareness, empathy and the ability to cope with emotions and stress in the Revolutionaries.
With the release of Revolutionary Daughters- Al Jazeera English'sdocumentary on Kranti, we were flooded with emails from all over the world! There is a 12 year old girl in Sacramento who wants to be email friends with the Revolutionaries, and a 75 year old couple in the UK who want to donate £10 to us every month, although they are pensioners themselves.
It was "Nutrition and Food Justice" month at Kranti this month! The girls learnt about a balanced diet and the Kranti home now eats based on a menu prepared by a dietician, kick starting the day with breakfast smoothies packed with the wholesome goodness of fruits and dairy. We conducted two workshops for the Revolutionaries to learn the origin of their food and organic food production. To make the learning experiential, the Revolutionaries visited the Sahakari Spice Garden, an organic spice farm, in Goa, and learnt first hand from the farmers there.
The older Revolutionaries are scouting for colleges to apply to next year. They recently visited the Mahindra United World College, Pune, India, to meet the teachers and students there, look at the infrastructure of the campus, and understand the course requirements.
We are joined this month by a new Revolutionary- Shweta Katti! Look forward to next month's issue to read Shweta's story and her Revolutionary dreams!
The Revolutionaries have been stars at conferences around the country this month!
Our co-founder, Trina, won The Indus Entrepreneurs Stree Shakti award for being the most promising social entrepreneur of the year! She got a cash prize of Rs. 100, 000, that Kranti is going to use to start a college fund for the oldest Revolutionaries, who will be going to college in 2 years.
Two Revolutionaries, Savita and Bani, attended a Women’s Rights and Empowerment conferece in New Delhiorganised by PWESCR (Programme on Women's Economic Social and Cultural Rights). Yet another Revolutionary, Aparna, participated in the Youth Parliament, that discussed the prospect of sex education in schools and presented the state government with a proposal of a sex education curriculum.
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