Hey! I am Sheetal. My full name is Sheetal Jain, usually I don’t like to say my full name because I believe mothers’ names should be given to children not fathers’ names because I never met my father. I really don’t want to be old but now I’m 20! I have a younger brother I have to think of, my mother has a mental illness and there are so many responsibilities I am worried about and so I’m not sure what to do in my life… but right now I’m just interested to play drums. There are many things I like to do, like giving speech about social justice issues, talking to people about human rights, do theater/drama about our life stories, some workshops about sex education, and playing drums is my life dream. Before coming to Kranti, I never thought I can do these things. Now, I am living in Washington, DC for last six months for a drum program and I take acting classes too. I love to travel to see new place, to meet new people and talk with them. Anyway, I like allll of these things, but I still do not know for certain what to do with my life. If you have any suggestion, please tell me. :)
I am Shweta Katti and have been at Kranti for almost 4 years. At Kranti everyone calls me “Katti”. In past few years I have realized how powerful dreams can be. You wouldn’t believe but I am going to tell you anyway ;) So I was 12 when I used to daydream about studying in The US; I had no idea what the US was a continent? A country? Or a small town? No idea, but what I knew was that if I go there people will respect and then I could be part of the “normal society.” My dream of going to the US for education came true 6 years later. I have been studying in New York past two years and now taking a semester on a ship with my sister and traveling around the world. I still remember the day I was flying to New York to start school and guess what? My flight was at 9:45 and I had no visa the night before my flight. What to do? I had packed and others took my bags to the airport, and Robin and I went to the US embassy because the head of visas had promised us to give back my passport at 8:30 in the morning. We took the auto to the embassy; ran into the office and there he was standing with my passport. I was almost in my tears but didn’t have time to cry I have a flight to catch remember? I thanked him and ran back to the auto and asked him to drive as fast as he can. We got to the airport I said bye to everyone and I go to check in and one of the guys asks, “Why are you so late? We were about to close.” I told him the whole story and he said, “This might be a world record to get visa right before you flight and still be able to make it. Anyway good luck.” And he smiled. I made it to NYC finally. We are doing the US tour soon and I can’t wait to meet everyone in the US. My mother and my sisters are going to be there haven’t seen them in a while and I can’t wait to hear their crazy stories and travel with the whole family. Watch out USA we are coming ☺.
My name is Kavita Hosmani I am 21 the oldest girl at Kranti. I have been at Kranti for 1.5 years and it has been a turning point of my life. Kranti is not just some other NGO for me it’s my family actually more than a family. Because of Kranti I was at a program called Semester at Sea which is a four month long semester on a ship and we traveled around the world. Because I have traveled, Robin the co-founder of Kranti thought I know all the places in the world so she asked me, “name one country in Africa” and I said, “Jamaica” which is definitely a very wrong answer. Now you can see how bad I am at geography ;). But before coming to Kranti I thought Africa was a country and at Kranti when we would have world geography sessions that’s when I realized that it’s a continent not a country. I am still working on my geography though :). I LOVE singing and my dream is to become a singer and use my singing talent to make a social change.
Hi, my name is Taniya, but you can call me a Revolutionary. Let me share some interesting things about myself. I luvvvvv to talk sooo much but if you ask me, “Do you like to talk?” then I will tell you “of course not!” All girls tease me because sometimes I say “I want to talk for one minute” in class or for an interview….and they say “But we don’t have 20 minutes!” My favourite thing in the world is to make people laugh, this makes me very happy, to see other people smile….to me laughing people’s faces remind me of sunflowers. I love to eat junk food and not home food. Most people look at my life and think I do not have family. Because I never knew my father and my mother died one year ago. But from my view, I have a very very very big family. It’s called Kranti. And I’m the most crazy person in Kranti. This might sound like no big deal, but it is a BIG deal because almost everybody in Kranti is crazy so I have many competition. I not believe in God because I don’t feel that he is there, but sometimes I feel like Kranti is heaven for me. In Kranti I have many many good memories and things to learn, like traveling alone, fighting for your rights and many other things. Right now I don’t have a dream in my life because I am thinking what I want to be. But I want to do something. Oh sorry, I forgot to say that I love to dance. And act. And sing. And I love going to different programs. At Kranti I attended many workshops like women’s rights, world religions, social justice theater, etc. and I love to meet the many different people from these programs. And oh yes I have one special talent: I like to copy many people’s funny saying and expression. Like one time in Bhutan somebody left the hot water heater on in the bathroom and when Robin went to toilet she screamed “I burnt by bum!” So now when I want tease Robin I say “I burnt my bum! I burnt my bum!” And the whole house laughs. :)
My name is Farah Shaikh, and I am doing my diploma in teacher education. This is funny because I do not like children and I do not want to be a teacher! But I was in another NGO before Kranti and they told me I must study teacher education or stop studying! My real dream is to be a journalist, and I am happy to be at Kranti because even though I’m 19 and most people think I should be working now, Kranti will help me become a journalist. I think I will make a great journalist because I love to talk to people, ask questions and see new places. Actually before I came to Kranti, I never traveled alone and I used to be very afraid. Now I am learning to fight for my rights and other people’s rights, now I feel brave and I love traveling. My first week at Kranti I had to travel alone and I was standing at the station for 15 minutes because I did not know which train to take. After that everyone at Kranti started calling me “Vile Parle” – it is the name of the train station! So whenever I make mistakes or do something silly, everyone calls me Vile Parle. But it’s okay because I have also learned to laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously. I think this is very important for journalists and for revolutionaries!
My name is Vrunali Rasam and I am 19. I am studying in 12th through the National Institute of Open Schooling. My favourite subject right now is English, and my favourite hobby painting. After 12 I want to study mass media and then I want to apply to become an air hostess. This has been my childhood dream for many years. At Kranti, I take classes for theatre and piano, and I like to spend my spare time talking and having fun with Kranti girls. I love my time with them because they are like the family I never had – I have grown up in NGOs my whole life. When I was 6, my mother died, then my father married another woman. She wasn’t able to take care of me and she did not want me staying in the red-light area, so she sent me to NGO. So now for 13 years I am living in NGOs, but the Kranti girls are the first place I feel like we share our problems, we understand each other, and it is the only place I have lived where I am not ashamed of my background, I am proud.
My name is Pinky Sheikh and I am 18 years old. I was the first girl to come to Kranti and I have been here about four years. When I leave Kranti, I want to become a teacher or an animal therapist because I LOVE animals. At Kranti we have three cats and they are my best friends. I have many hobbies, but my favourite things are singing, swimming, and dancing. Two years ago, I went to America for a dance camp for one month and I discover that I love travel. Now, I want to go to Africa because I think African people are very beautiful. I like being at Kranti because here I get therapy and that has change my life. This is why I want to be a therapist. Last, I would like to say I am from Kolkata and my mother is a sex worker. Her whole life she is fighting many problems, and I am very proud of my mother.
My name is Sandhya Nair. For 17 years I lived in Kamathipura red-light area, where I was born. Now I am 18 and live at Kranti. I have many hobbies and at Kranti I am taking classes for dancing, acting and guitar. Last year with my school friends I started a street theatre group and was doing many plays about trafficking, sex work, sexual harassment, etc. I also love to speak in public and ask different types of questions. I think my goal is to become a psychiatrist, but I also think I will make a good journalist. I love to have conversations with many different people and to ask them questions. One time when I was doing street theatre, I met a man who was an amazing actor – he could act out any issue and discuss anything through theatre. But outside theatre, he was absolutely crazy! I can’t even remember one normal thing about him. His speech was crazy, his hair was crazy, his stories were crazy. But now when I think about him, I am excited and inspired to meet people who think, act and work differently; I can learn so much from these people. Anyway… I also love jalebi, it is an Indian sweet. I love my friends and family too. My mom is my real hero and my dad is my rockstar.
Hi, I’m Asmita, but everyone calls me Ashi. I’m 17 years old but everyone says to me you look like a little kid. One time I went to the bank to deposit some money and the bank teller said to me “no children, please send your parents.” :( I just finished 12th, but the exam results are not out yet. I hope I will pass!! From June, I am taking a gap year to travel and learn new things, but after that I want to go to Tata Institute of Social Science to study social work. I do not really like to study but I want to go to TISS so I can become a social worker. Because I really like to talk to people, help them and make new friends. I like to learn people’s stories. Recently I went on a plane for the first time and all the passengers were so quiet and boring, so I started talking to the pilot, he was very nice and took a photo with me! I like to travel and I am excited to go to America this year but I think I can never live anywhere besides India because my English is so bad. But one thing I know about myself, when I am in a situation where I don’t know what to do, somehow I will figure out a way, and do whatever I have to in order to survive. Maybe in America my English will become better. One other funny thing about me is that people sometimes call me Airport. This is because one day I bunked class allll day to go out with a boy I liked. But then my mother and everyone at Kranti found out that I was not in class. I got soooo scared to go home that I hid allll evening. Guess where?? At the international airport! I knew it would be busy and safe even at night, so I went there. But soon my mother found where I was and came and got me. But now if I am late somewhere, people say “Maybe she’s at the Airport?”
My name is Danish Shaikh and I am 16 years old. I am in 11th standard. I have only been at Kranti a few months but I am taking many classes here. My favourite is acting class and dance class. After I finish 12th I want to experience many things like travelling and learning new things. Especially I want to learn about cinematography and I want to become an actress. These are my childhood dreams and maybe they will change. Many things changed since I came to Kranti… before I did not think very much about myself and my future. But since I am at Kranti, I have learned to dream big and never give up! Actually I learned not to give up the first day I came to Kranti… I used to stay at another NGO and they never allow us to go anywhere but school and class. But the first day I came to Kranti, Bani didi said I must travel alone to my school, which is almost two hours away. I didn’t know anything about traveling on the train, but I was scared to tell Bani di. So I said okay. When I went to the train station, I didn’t even know I was supposed to buy a ticket. So I got on the train. When I got off at my stop, I saw many people standing together, I thought something had happened and I went to look. I asked a man in a white uniform “who are these people, why they’re standing here?” The man said “I am the ticket checker, these are people without tickets. Can I see your ticket?” And I RAAANNNNN!!! After that, the other Krantikaris taught me all about traveling alone, and now I have even been to other cities alone! I never imagined I could be so independent. This has helped me a lot to dream big dreams. And to never give up. And, when necessary, to run away. :)
My name is Saira Sheikh and I am 15 year old. I love music, and I take dance and singing classes at Kranti. I like working with street children and teaching them, maybe I will have a job working with street children one day. I want to help poor children and I want to see the poor children like me become happy and rich. I also like to travel and I want to see the world! (Translated from Hindi by Pinky Sheikh)
Info coming soon!
Hi! My name is Jayashree, but you can call me Rani. This is my favourite nickname because my parents call me Rani, which means queen. And I live my life like I am a queen! I love dancing and acting and my dream is to become an actress. Everyone asks what I want to be when I grew up, and I say actress. But I also want to be a good human. My favourite thing is to make people laugh. I am very crazy, but Kranti is one place where everyone loves my craziness, that’s why I like being at Kranti. My favourite food is pizza, so whenever someone comes like donors or Robin’s friends and they ask what I want, I always say I want pizza! Actually I love alllll food, but I especially love pizza, burgers and chicken. When it was Bani didi’s birthday, we went to a mall. I ate two burgers, two boxes of French fries and one bucket of chicken all by myself. Then when we got home I ate some more. Whenever someone brings bananas to Kranti, all the girls hide them because if they do not save for themselves, I will eat ten or twelve bananas in one day! Maybe I should not be an actress – I should find a job where I can eat all day!
My name is Sumaiya Sheikh and I am 14. I love to talk so much and ask lots of questions to other people. I did not think what I want to become in the future. Because now I am only 14 and it is time to study and learn new things. But I have one idea that maybe I want to become a journalist because like I said, I love to talk and ask questions. But I don’t know what kind of journalist I want to be. And one more thing about me is that I love food a loooottttt. My favourite food is fish and pani puri. Everywhere I travel with Kranti, from Kashmir to Kerala, I taste the pani puri. My favourite so far was in Bhutan, one day I ate 10 plates! I can eat just pani puri from day to night, breakfast, lunch and dinner!
My name is Amrin and I am 14 years old. I have only been at Kranti for one month, and before this I live with my mother. But I never went to school because I am deaf and mute and nobody knew a school for deaf children. So mostly I stay home and I am very good at cooking and helping my mother in the house. But now at Kranti I have seen many many things for first time and I am excited to learn and go to school. For example, I love drawing and painting, and now I will take drawing classes. For school, I will have a private tutor who will teach only me, and I am excited to learn sign language. The other Kranti girls are also learning sign language but until we all learn, I talk with them using my hands and expressions. All the girls laugh at the signs I make, especially for Kranti’s didis. Like Robin di wears glasses so I sign her as “glasses.” Bani di has a big stomach so I sign her “big stomach.” I like being at Kranti because so many things I did here for first time – I go to movies, I watch plays, and just now I am starting to travel in Mumbai. It is so nice to feel like I can do things alone and I am not depend on other people. I am very excited to start this new part of my life!
(translated from ASL – Amrin Sign Language – by Danish, Amrin’s older sister)
Hi I am Mahek. I am 11 years old. I came to Kranti in 2014 on 5 April which is my birthday. And on the next month I will complete one years in Kranti. I am not living in Kranti home because I am so small. Right now I stay in another NGO for sex workers’ children and I come to Kranti for holidays. But one big problem in my life that my NGO everyone speak Marathi and Kannada, two south Indian language. And in Kranti mostly everyone speak Hindi. So when I come to Kranti I am mixing Hindi, English, Kannada and Marathi. When I go back to other NGO I am mixing Hindi in my Marathi and Kannada. I stay at other NGO for one year already, and I don’t know how the times goes, but I am excited to stay full time at Kranti soon. Some time this year was very happy and some was sad moments. But I enjoy both of the moments this year. And in this one year I gone two times with Kranti somewhere for some trip and for learning something and having fun. It was my first time traveling. We gone to Andaman Nicobar Islands for a fun trip and it was my first time somewhere with Kranti’s members. And after that I gone to Himachal Pradesh there also we have fun and studied there with activities like theater and science. And I like to read story books. And I likes chocolate ice cream chips etc. I am having sooo much fun in Kranti. And in Kranti I got 12 sisters and I thank a lot to Kranti and Kranti’s girls.