Frequently Asked Questions
9. I am a journalist and I want to cover Kranti, or I'd like to host a Lal Batti Express performance, or I would like to invite a Krantikari to speak at an event. Whom do I contact?
Kranti means “Revolution” in Hindi - and we are a Revolution in every sense of the word! We believe that girls from
red-light areas have an added value as change agents and community leaders, not “despite” their background, but because of it. Given access to the same education, training, and opportunities as people from mainstream backgrounds, the Krantikaris will become exceptional leaders ‒ more innovative, compassionate, and resilient due to their life experiences.
WHAT MAKES KRANTI DIFFERENT FROM OTHER NGOs SERVING THIS COMMUNITY?
At other NGOs, girls will come in at a young age, start school, finish 12th, and go on to get a job, get married, or go back to Kamathipura. At Kranti, we accept girls even if they’re 18-21 and have no idea what they want in life. Alongside Kranti School, we give them a year or two to learn, travel, and explore. If the Krantikari wants to go to university or start working, we will do everything to prepare, train, and support her until she achieves her goal. Every girl should be able to dream!
WHY DO YOU WORK WITH SO FEW GIRLS?
Kranti wants to help every single Krantikari discover her passion, nurture her talents, and decide what gift she wants to offer the world. Yes, it’s a very long-term investment. But we’d like to ask you: if you had a child with severe mental health issues, or an academically talented child whose needs your local school could not meet, wouldn’t you do whatever it takes to enable your child to thrive? That’s what we do for our girls!
HOW DO YOU MEASURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF YOUR METHODS?
We think the Krantikaris’ lives speak for themselves! In the past five years, Kranti's girls have: become the first girls from India's red-light area to study abroad, received UN awards for their social justice work, given 25+ TEDx and other speeches around the world, and written, directed and performed their own play in front of 100K+ audience members. Their latest performance, at the world's largest performing arts festival in 2017, was covered by BBC with over ten million views. In 2016, Kranti's alternative school was named a Top 10 Finalist for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize. Kranti girls are currently studying abroad in London, Rome, Chicago, and Los Angeles; three girls are applying to university for 2019, and two older girls are now in well-paid positions with NGOs in Mumbai and Bangalore. We couldn’t be prouder of, or happier for, all the Krantikaris! :)
WHY DO THE GIRLS GO TO THERAPY?
When we started Kranti, we believed education was the “be all and end all” solution for everything, as this is how people often talk about education for people from marginalized communities: "if they just had more education, all their problems would be solved." After a couple years of this approach, we realized that the Kranti girls just couldn’t adjust to mainstream classrooms, not due to inadequate academic skills, but due to emotional issues. Our priority now lies in empowering the girls to embrace their pasts, heal from their traumas, love themselves, and above all, find happiness Therapy is a key dynamic to this process. If you look at any research or long-term studies about happiness, you’ll see that the Kranti house includes everything necessary for the path to happiness: - rigorous learning, physical exercise, personal challenges, spiritual growth, fostering gratitude, close relationships, and a strong community. By focusing on these key elements, the Krantikaris become not only agents of social change, but agents of happiness.
WHY DOES KRANTI HAVE ITS OWN SCHOOL?
Though they are victims of abuse, violence, and marginalization, our girls also are victims of low expectations, rote memorization, and the phrase “randi ki beti randi banegi” - “a whore’s daughter will only become a whore.” As a result, some of Kranti’s girls have never been in school, some have studied in six different languages, and one girl, who is deaf, spoke only her own form of sign language when she came to Kranti. Instead of using education to “catch up” to the rest of the world, we use Kranti School to develop the Revolutionaries’ voices and leadership skills. You can learn more about our curriculum here.
WHY DO SO MANY KRANTIKARIES STUDY ABROAD?
Simply, because Indian universities won’t accept them! Sometimes this is because the girls can’t clear a university’s entrance exam due to their lack of foundation in formal education, and sometimes it’s because universities aren’t willing to take a risk on a student from this type of background. In the US, we’ve found that not only are universities willing to take risks on the Krantikaris and offer substantial financial aid, but they even appreciate the diversity and life experience that a Krantikari brings to their campus. However, if you are connected to an Indian boarding school or university which might be interested in having Kranti girls on campus, please do get in touch!
WHY DOES KRANTI TRAVEL SO OFTEN?
Growing up in Kamathipura, the red-light area was their entire world. But this is not an issue specific to this community; restriction of girls’ and women’s mobility is a common form of gender inequality all over the world. In order to battle this, the day a girl arrives Kranti, we send her out to run errands like buy groceries, go to the bank, or make a train pass. Within a couple weeks, she’s traveling to film screenings, guitar classes, and therapy appointments on her own. Within a couple months, she’s off to workshops in Delhi, Bangalore, or Himachal. It’s one of life’s biggest privileges to watch each girl develop the confidence and courage to know that she can tackle anything alone! In addition to our direct, primary work at Kranti, our secondary work focuses on changing mindsets about sex workers, their children, and their communities. Theater is an amazing way to do this, and in the last three years, we’ve been privileged enough to take “Lal Batti Express,” a show written and performed by the Krantikaris, to 100K+ audience members in the US and UK. We’ve always found that travel is a win-win situation; not only does it broaden the Krantikaris’ worldviews, it also gives audience members their first opportunity to interact with sex workers and their daughters. Audience members often exclaim share the feedback that “Wow, I didn’t realize they’re just normal kids -- like mine!” Mission accomplished. :)
I’m a journalist and I want to cover Kranti OR I’d like to host a Lal Batti Express performance OR I’d like to invite a Krantikari to speak at an event. Who do I contact?
Please write to us at email@example.com and state “media/speaker invite/LBE request” in your subject line. If it’s urgent (you need a response within a week) please say that in the subject as well. Thank you for thinking of us! :)
DO YOU HAVE ANY JOB OPENINGS/ INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES?
We do not have any at this time, but we always love more volunteers!
CAN I MARRY ONE OF THE KRANTI GIRLS?
(Believe it or not, we get asked enough that we thought we should include it here!)
Sorry, we are not a marriage service or dating agency. If you can patao (woo) one of the Kranti girls on your own, we wish you the best of luck. There WILL be an interview with all the staff members!
I WROTE YOU GUYS A WEEK AGO. WHY HASN'T ANYONE RESPONDED?
Please imagine for a minute, a houseful of 15 teenage girls! In addition to all those “regular” things that eat up the entire day, like doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher meetings, and too many birthdays, we also have regular #KrantiLife crises to manage such as girls self-harming, the police showing up to harass us, or a Kranti mother needing emergency shelter. Please bear with us, and if you really haven’t heard back in two weeks, shoot us another email. Thank you so incredibly much for your patience!
WHAT KINDS OF DONATIONS ARE YOU MOST IN NEED OF ?
Our biggest struggle at Kranti is financial stability. We’ve been blessed beyond measure when it comes to sponsors for our big adventures, but we tend to come up short for the day-to-day things like rent, therapy, and salaries. How can you help? Make a recurring donation! Any amount on a monthly basis will help us be more secure, and more able to focus on parenting and teaching the Krantikaris instead of worrying about paying bills all the time!