I, Shweta , am the FIRST girl from India's red-light areas to be accepted to a US university! I have a full scholarship to the prestigious Bard College in New York but need funding for my room and board. Newsweek recently named me a "25 Under 25 Young Women to Watch," and my story has been featured on dozens of Indian news channels, magazines and newspapers - I want to study psychology and return to the red-light area as a therapist. Please help me achieve my dreams by going to college!
I have grown up my entire life in India's most infamous red-light area, Kamathipura. Girls from red-light areas are met with low expectations anywhere we go. The world thinks we cannot speak English, are not smart enough for school, will never learn any job besides washing dishes or cleaning bathrooms. Because society thinks so little of us, we girls also limit our capabilities, and we lack confidence and never have the opportunity to achieve our full potential.
As the first girl from India's red-light area to study abroad, this project will help me pay my room and board as well as other fees. During my time as a student, I will to reach out to other girls like me, speaking about my experience, telling them that they can also dream big and achieve those dreams. I have also been invited to speak at many places in the US about my experiences so I can help change society's perceptions about girls from red-light areas.
Kranti empowers girls from Mumbai's red-light areas to become agents of social change. I hope to do this by studying psychology and becoming a therapist in my community. When I came to Kranti, I had a therapist for the first time who helped me overcome all of society's discrimination towards me. I finally had a chance to talk about my abuse and started to really love myself. I want to be a "change agent" by becoming a therapist and helping many girls like me fulfill their dreams.