The year kicked off by attending Mumbai's Pride Parade in regal Revolutionary garb! We made our presence felt as a group to reckon with as over 25 Kranti volunteers, staff and of course Revolutionaries danced along to Pride 2012 wearing t-shirts emblazoned with Kranti's logo. To own your very own Kranti t-shirt, just email us with your size and postal address.
Kranti made its first ever public performance on 17th December in front of a crowd of 250! The Revolutionaries participated, in an inter-NGO event, "Our Life. Our Choice.", advocating accepting, respecting and supporting women who defy the norms of society, like single mothers, queer women and sex workers. The Revolutionaries, completely independently, scripted and performed a series of monologues about the lives of sex workers, demanding dignity of labour, access to health and education, and protection from abuse by the law, for sex workers. Their performance was met by huge applause! Kranti has truly appeared on the non-profit sector in Mumbai!
I was born in Mumbai. And my mother wanted to kill me because she thought I was monster . You see, my mother did not love me because I was born intersex. And when I was18 years old my mother asked me to leave the house because all the neighbors used to make fun of me. I had a beard. But I liked wearing a saree and make-up.
No one would give me work because I was hijra. I had only two ways to earn money. I could be a beggar or a sex worker. I decided to be a sex worker and earn for myself. I do hard work, just like anyone else, why dos society not respect me?
One in every 10, 000 babies is born intersex. It is natural. Why am I not allowed to go to school? Why can I not get a job like anyone else? Then why does everyone make fun of me?
With the release of Revolutionary Daughters- Al Jazeera English's documentary on Kranti, we were flooded with emails from all over the world! There is a 12 year old girl in Sacramento who wants to be email friends with the Revolutionaries, and a 75 year old couple in the UK who want to donate £10 to us every month, although they are pensioners themselves. We want to thank all the people who took the time and patience to watch "Revolutionary Daughters" for their support, be it through a donation, volunteer hours, or motivation.
The Revolutionaries have been stars at conferences around the country this month!
Our co-founder, Trina, won The Indus Entrepreneurs Stree Shakti award for being the most promising social entrepreneur of the year! She got a cash prize of Rs. 100, 000, that Kranti is going to use to start a college fund for the oldest Revolutionaries, who will be going to college in 2 years.
Two Revolutionaries, Savita and Bani, attended a conference in New Delhi on Women's Rights and Empowerment organised by PWESCR (Programme on Women's Economic Social and Cultural Rights) , where the actively contributed their experiences as women coming from a marginalised community, but working to empower themselves and other women in their communities.
बानी दास और क्रांति के सभी स्टाफ सांगली नामक गॉव मै गये थे ?उस ज्गाहे पे मुझे कुछ जानकरी मीला जो मुझे कभी पता नही था! वह सेक्स वोर्केर के बारे में है! वह एक ऐशा काम है की जिसे लोग समाज में बैसा का नाम देते है! वह काम सभी जगह होता है! वहा के औरत सेक्स को छुपाती नही है! की हम सेक्स करते है! सांगली एक एसा गाव है जहा सेक्स- वोर्केर के काम होता है! सांगली गाव में कम से कम ५०० कोठे है और उन कोठियो मै एक भी १८ साल से कम उम्र के लड़किया नहि दिखे! वहा जानकरी मीली की १८ साल से कम उम्र की लडर्किया से सेक्स का काम नहि करना चाहिये!समाज ओर क़ानूनी तरीका से वहा कंडोम का इस्तेमाल करते है !इसलिए सांगली नामक गाव में पोलिश रेड नहि होती!यह काम करने के बाद भी ओपन बच्चे की अच्छी शिक्षा और परबरिश करते है!और समाज के आम लोग की तरह साफ-सफाई से रहते है!
In Maharastra there is one small, beautiful town called Sangli. We were six people in the train traveling together, and the journey was eight hours. Our journey was wonderful, we had so much fun and enjoyed the train. When I took my first step in that village, suddenly I was surprised and there was a smile on my face. I can’t explain how happy I was there.
Now I am very happy because I got a wonderful opportunity and I wanted to use it to the full. And when we talked to Sangram’s staff, I learned so many things about sex workers and realized that we had many similar opinions, opinions that are unusual. The most important thing I learned is that sex workers can be excellent role models, not only Mahatma Gandhi, Chacha Nehru, but also sex workers and our moms.
If I complained about Mumbai's mean people, I must write about it's good people too, now that the time has come.
On a dark Mumbai night, amongst torrential downpour, streets water logged with knee deep muddy rain water, the Kranti family came back home, drenched to their skin, only to realise that we had locked ourselves out. It was 1 a. m. No, we were not going to get a locksmith anywhere this time of the night. No, we had not left an extra key with anyone else. We looked around helplessly. Our youngest- 8 and 11 years, were sleeping sitting on the staircase, tired and passed out. The others shivering from the cold breeze passing through their soaked clothes.
A month long search and 12 rejections later, Kranti finally has a new home! We have shifted in and made it our own by painting our walls with inspirational, revolutionary quotes and symbols.
June saw the inception of an art workshop and a writer’s workshop for the Revolutionaries. The 3 month long art workshop will culminate in an exhibition and auction of the Revolutionaries’ art work to raise funds to purchase land to build Kranti’s permanent home in the next 12 months.
The writing workshop will help the Revolutionaries express themselves– their past, their future aspirations, their present struggles and achievements. Venting through writing will especially help the quieter Revolutionaries, who are not expressive through speech.