Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas

by Kranti
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas
Empower Future Leaders from Mumbai Red-Light Areas

Project Report | Mar 14, 2023
Happy New Year from Kranti!

By Shraddha Katti | Krantikari

Krantikaris working with mothers of Kamathipura
Krantikaris working with mothers of Kamathipura

Hi, my name is Shraddha and I’m one of the Krantikaris. First of all, I hope your new year is off to a great start! After a couple quiet years without many performances, events, or travel, 2023 has been a busy, loud, crazy adventure.  As with the rest of the world, Covid-19 reminded us yet again just how marginalized and vulnerable sex workers are in India, despite Kranti’s tireless work (as well as that of numerous other NGOs). It broke our hearts to see our community’s plight during lockdown - it seemed that girls & women at high risk of mental breakdowns were abandoned by all of society. We, of course, could not abandon them, so we did our best to feed their stomachs by distributing rice and lentils. But we still felt helpless, as we were unable to feed their souls. 

So this year, we started a project called “Haan Hum,” (This means “Yes, US!”) an art project in collaboration with actors and artists from around India to feed the souls of Kamathipura’s sex workers. For a couple days a month, the artists, we Krantikaris, and all the sex workers come together to play, paint, sing, dance, laugh, cry and share. Although it’s only a small dent in what the community needs, all of us Krantikaris got so much joy this year from watching our mothers, sisters and aunties ditch their work and worries to spend some time on self-care. We even took many of the sex workers to the Prince of Wales art museum in the city for our last day together - it was their first time ever visiting a museum!

The day after our four-day art project ended, we boarded the train to Gandhinagar, a nearby city where we were invited to perform our flagship show, Lal Batti Express. We were very nervous because it was our first performance after three years and there were only eight of us to do the entire show. We gave our best and the performance went very well. For us, it’s not just a “performance” but it’s a connection we feel towards each other and towards the audience members. It was such a nice feeling to be on stage again after such a long break and also see our audience members laugh, cry, share, and open their hearts to us. 

Lastly, I have my own exciting news to share. In 2022, I got a full scholarship for an art residency in Ireland. From September until December, I had the chance to learn many new art skills. I also really enjoyed meeting other young, passionate artists from around the world. After coming back from this amazing experience I was worried about what to do next. Luckily, an opportunity walked into my hands. For the last two months, I’ve been painting the classrooms of Kamathipura's (the red-light area) government school. I'm excited to do this project because I have always wanted to do something in my own community, and the most exciting thing is I'm painting classrooms for 1st to 5th students. I always hated school as a child because the classrooms were so dull and the teachers were so boring. I hope things are changing now. So I started with an activity with the students to know what they want in their classrooms. So far, I’ve finished one classroom with “underwater” theme that has water, shells and animals. I’m having a lot of fun and I’m so excited to finish the other four classrooms this month!!

I hope you enjoyed reading this report, and if you have any thoughts, please feel free to respond with feedback. Thank you, as always, for your kind, generous, consistent support. We of course know that none of our work or even our lives, let alone our dreams, could be possible without your love, faith and support. You have been with us through the hardest of times and also the most beautiful of times. It is YOU who gives us the courage to dream, and it is YOU who shows us that dreams do come true. Thank you for being with us on this crazy journey called life!

Art Project with the mothers of Kamathipura
Art Project with the mothers of Kamathipura
Krantikaris performing LBE at IIT Gandhinagar
Krantikaris performing LBE at IIT Gandhinagar
Art Project with students of Kamathipura
Art Project with students of Kamathipura
Art Project with students of Kamathipura
Art Project with students of Kamathipura
Me in Ireland at Cow House Studio
Me in Ireland at Cow House Studio
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Organization Information

Kranti

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @KrantiMumbai
Project Leader:
Robin Chaurasiya
Mumbai , Maharashtra India

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