Imagine: You are a woman from a remote part of India.
Imagine: Your parents marry you to a man twice your age.
Imagine: Your husband takes you thousands of miles from your native home to Mumbai, India’s bustling financial capital. You don’t know anyone, and you don’t speak the local language.
Imagine: To earn money for your family, you are forced to choose between working as domestic help for $50 a month or as a sex worker for $100 a month.
Imagine: The desperation a woman feels who must make such a choice.
Imagine: The woman making that choice is a child of barely 13.
A group of young women from Kamathipura, Mumbai’s red-light area, dare to imagine that they can have a better life, where they aren’t judged by such choices. These Krantikari (revolutionaries) imagine that choosing education can change their lives, the lives of those around them, and the world. They imagine futures where they can choose to follow their dreams. They are working to turn their dreams into realities.
Kranti (revolution in Hindi) is an NGO that empowers the daughters of sex workers through education and therapy to become agents of social change. Robin Chaurasiya, Kranti’s founder, believes these young women deserve a chance to learn, grow, and live their lives just as so many other young women from more privileged backgrounds do. She works to give these young Krantikaris hope.
But, these Krantikaris’ lives are in jeopardy. On June 10th, these young women, ranging from 13 to 19, will be evicted from their home in Kandivali. 10 Krantikaris, 3 support staff, 3 cats, and 3 turtles are all being turned out onto the street by their housing society. They are being turned out because of their past choices. They are not being judged by the choices they are making for their futures. Choices like attending school for the first time at age 13; choices like pursuing undergraduate education outside India; choices like training NGO workers to reach other young women just like themselves.
Kranti is a spotlight charity for the AWC Bourbon Street Bash on 26th April. This “party with a purpose” hopes to raise awareness and funds for all its chosen charities. But, for Kranti, the AWC membership has a greater wish: that these brilliant young women find a home to call their own, a home where they can turn their dreams into realities.