“For 5 years, I lived with my mother’s partner, who called himself my father, but every day he raped me. At 16, I made the hardest decision of my life – to run away from him, but I didn’t know where to…”
“I was married at 9, and at 10 I started living on the streets in the red-light area, stealing to feed myself. At 14, I came to Kranti and I thought life would be perfect. But for many years I struggled with anger, depression and self-harm. I still struggle…”
“My father died when I was 11, and I was upset with my mother because my father died in the morning, and in the evening she brought another man at home and said this is your new father. For the next two years, this new father beat me and my mother every day…”
The largest red light district in Asia is in Mumbai, India. Over 5 thousands sex workers, most of whom are believed to be victims of sex trafficking, live in this area known as Kamathipura. A countless number of children are born into this life, and many others are forced into it from various parts of India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
One small organization took it upon itself to support the young girls who were born and raised in this area by providing them the means to become agents of change in their communities, and the world.
They called themselves Kranti.
The word Kranti means revolution in Hinidi. The amazing women who founded this organization built it with the belief “that girls from the red-light areas have an added value as change agents, not despite their background, but because of it. If they have access to the same training, opportunities, and resources as people from privileged backgrounds, they will become revolutionary leaders — more innovative, compassionate, and resilient due to their life experiences.”
Kranti provides education, therapy, workshops, travel experiences, social justice training, physical and artistic extracurricular activities, and consistent spiritual practices for all their girls.
The girls also wrote their own play to tell the stories of what it’s like to live as sex workers and daughters of sex workers. They have performed this play all over India, the US and Europe in front of hundreds of thousands of people.
They use theatre to “bring the stories of sex workersʼ daily lives to mainstream audiences, and we use street theatre to bring change to our communities.”
The young girls of Kranti have lived through hell, but they never let it break them. They have transcended a level of suffering most of us could never fathom… and are stronger because of it.
Today Pinky says “Through therapy, I have learned that every day is a new day day, and when I mess up, I try again the next day…”
Taniya teaches Zumba and has said “lucky for me, I found Kranti and today I’m studying to become a flight attendant.”
Rani continues her studies, supports NGO’s in Mumbai, was recently accepted into a US State Department program and says “In therapy, I finally let go of my anger for both of them. (her mom and “new father”) I can see now that they are normal human beings trying their best, they just have some limitations, as do I. And it’s so FREEING to let go of this anger I’ve carried for years.”
In the last 5 years, the young girls from Kranti have become the first girls from the red light district to study abroad, they have received awards from the UN for their social justice work, given speeches all over the globe and are actively working to enhance their community.
These girls truly represent the essence of the human spirit at its finest…
Since our inception, the Fearvana Foundation is proud to have supported Kranti’s work.
In addition to our financial support, every time our founder, Akshay Nanavati, visits Mumbai, he personally visits the girls to share lessons of Fearvana and empower them to continue on their path to greatness. Although, as he says “I always learn more from them than they could ever learn from me.”
Most recently, The Fearvana Foundation helped sponsor a 10 week trip to Europe for the girls of Kranti where they performed their play, “Lal Batti Express,” in places like Geneva, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Porto and Rome.
During this trip, they also hiked the entire 850km Camino De Santiago Trail in 40 days from St. Jean Pied De Port in France to Santiago De Compostela in Spain.
Here is a video they shot for Akshay during their hike:
Both Kranti and The Fearvana Foundation firmly believe in the power of adventure as a means to cultivate confidence, courage, and growth. For the girls, traveling has expanded their horizons, broadened their perspectives and exposed them to new worlds they might never have experienced otherwise.
However, it’s not just the girls who have benefited from their travels.
Sharing their stories through their play has inspired audiences from all walks of life across the globe. They have often heard feedback such as “Wow, I didn’t realize they’re just normal kids — like mine!”
These girls have helped unite us all as one human family. They are perfect symbols of our vision to create “a united global community that works together as one to unleash our collective potential in solving the multiple challenges affecting our entire human family.”
The Fearvana Foundation will continue to support Kranti’s projects and these young women who already are, and will continue to be, warriors that change the world one step at a time…