Kranti – Robin’s Rebellion to Rehabilitate Red Light Area Girls
How is our perceived notion of red light area workers? Or the Eunuchs & trans-genders off the streets? Similarly what about those who are openly unabashed about their sexuality – Gay or Lesbians? Not appropriate. They are frowned upon, ignored in general & sometimes not even considered as a part of our civilized society.
Those of us who lead “normal” lives hardly care or want to understand the grave prejudices the above-mentioned individuals & groups face. In our day to day grind of life, many times we forget to treat human beings with a touch of humanity.
It is said that true revolution comes from within. It is when you understand the pain faced by others yourself that you can take appropriate action to fight the origins of the pain.
Such is the story of a US ex-air-force officer, Robin Chaurasiya, who recently was considered for a global prize for teachers for her initiative – Kranti.
Kranti was founded by Robin shortly after her stint in the US as an air force officer. Being a colored officer of Indian origin, Robin was also a self-confessed Lesbian which resulted in her termination of services from the forces. She fought with the authorities their against this in-discrimination & today officers in US forces are allowed to be Gay or Lesbian.
Before she faced this apartheid, Robin has visited India to work voluntarily with an NGO who worked with the rehabilitation of children of sex workers in Mumbai’s red light area. The difficulties & social stigma associated with sex workers or their children made their rehabilitation a hard task & thus drew Robin back to India after leaving the air force, where she set up Kranti in Mumbai to aid in their rehab.
Kranti, a not-for-profit organization started by Robin, not only provided a safe house for these young girls but also taught them basic skillsets like stitching, making pickles & papads to make them self-sufficient. At a time she housed about 50-60 girls who came from these socially thwarted backgrounds. All these girls in their teens were not only bright students but also were passionate to do something in their lives.
But it is easier said than done. The mindset of our society is such that we do not believe in rehabilitation & full absorption of such elements in the fabric of our society. Most practical problems for Kranti arise from housing societies refusing to rent out flats to these people once they come to know of their backgrounds.
Other challenges faced are a lack of admissions in schools & colleges due to lack of formal documents & Id proofs with these girls. To overcome this, Kranti conducts in-house workshops & training for these girls to provide a holistic education along with personality development courses.
One such student, Shweta who was with Kranti for more than a year, received a full scholarship to study in Bard College New York & is on her way to make a great career post her studies.
The aim of Kranti is to empower as many young girls as possible to create a responsible workforce in India to bring about more such social changes.
It is thus a perfect model to turn your burdens & negatives into your strengths & to further aid in the upliftment of other marginalized individuals.
We too can in our own ways aid in making these marginalized elements of our society feel more welcome to the fabric of our civilized existence. Why can we not provide employment to Transgender like recently Kochi Metro did? Why can’t we volunteer to tutor these children irrespective of documentary evidence? Why not donate our sweat to help these girls rehabilitate & lead a respectable life despite their sullied pasts?
The new India needs to understand that these socially neglected elements are just as much a part of our society as we ourselves. Going ahead, only we can be the change we want to see to make India a better society.
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