An Indian-American who helped organise a successful campaign to change US armed forces’ policy after being forced to leave her position as an Air Force officer because of her sexuality, moved to India to bring about another social change.
This time Robin Chaurasia found her calling in teaching the underprivileged among the underprivileged — daughters of sex workers of Mumbai’s red-light areas.
In 2011, non-profit 'Kranti' was founded to empower these marginalised girls to become agents of social change.
Robin, teacher and co-founder of the non-profit, calls her students 'Krantikaris' who include victims of trafficking and daughters of sex workers. Just three years of schooling, and the girls aged between 12 and 20 are already making waves!
The school is diverse with age groups, literacy levels, languages, ethnicities, religions, castes and abilities. Under the able-guidance of Robin, the 'Krantikaris' have gone on to win international fellowships. If Shweta Katti is studying psychology in New York, Kavita Hosmani won a scholarship to travel on a ship, covering 12 countries over a period of six months.
In 2013, they convinced a member of parliament to help them register sex workers to vote. The 'Kranti' girls have led workshops for more than 100,000 people and delivered 11 'TEDx' talks around the world.
They toured a play they wrote about their experiences across the USA, performing at the headquarters of Facebook and Google.
And the credit goes to the unconventional teaching style and unique curriculum of the school that includes creative thinking, yoga, writing, music, theatre and English.
At weekends, the girls go out on a field trip or simply watch films, visit exhibitions or complete mandatory voluntary work for a non-profit of their choice.
Robin has formalised a social justice curriculum at 'Kranti' covering key issues that affect the girls’ lives.
Last month, the 30-year-old was nominated for the Global Teacher Prize. The London-based Varkey Foundation bestows the $1-million award annually to teachers for their commendable work in the field of education. The winner will be announced late tonight.
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