We couldn’t miss the chance to meet Robin, the amazing co-founder of Kranti, an international charity that supports and educates the children of Indian sex-workers.
Robin, young and inspiring, recently interviewed by BBC, is unique and the first thing you notice when you meet her is her dark deep eyes together with her sparkly smile. Her energy just spreads out all over and is contagious.
We meet in a fancy coffee shop in East London where talking about such a touchy subject might seems inappropriate, but it also helps to digest an incredibly hard reality that for a moment comes so close to us.
RTC: Robin, for those who don’t know your charity, what is Kranti?
R: Kranti is a non-profit in Mumbai that empowers girls from the red light area to become agents of social change. We currently work with 18 girls from 13 to 21 years old who were born and raised in the red light district.
We are already impressed of how a young woman could make such an impact to the world by herself.
RTC: When did you realise that you could make a change?
R: There isn’t a specific moment for me. I realised that when I help people I also help myself. I grew up in a challenging environment, both my parents had mental illnesses and I think in some ways this is why I felt connected to the girls we help. I wanted them to have what I didn’t, for example a therapist or someone that actually can listen to you. Then I realised in the process of healing them I also healed myself, it has been a really amazing journey and I think anyone can make a change if they want to.
RTC: What does it mean to be born and been brought up in a red light district?
R: Some of our girls – she often refers to the girls helped by her organisation as ‘my kids’ her genuine love for them is utterly tangible – were trafficked at the age of 9/10 years old, some of them when they were 14. The same destiny happened to their mothers.
Those girls whose mothers are sex-workers used to live in very small places, completely aware of what was going on, they witnessed and endured abuses. We can argue that everyone needs therapy, but these girls lived a very hard life and it takes many years to undo what happened in their lives – She takes a pause and then corrects herself – actually ‘undo’ is not the right word because there is nothing they should reverse. What happened to them is also their strength.
The longest journey that they have to do is to learn how to love and to trust again.
RTC: Have you seen any actual progress?
R: Absolutely! We have amazing therapists working for us. We have different kind of girls, some of them were trafficked at very early age and have several sexual issues and sexualized behaviours, whereas some of them are struggling with depression or self harm because this is the only way they could cope with the pain. For some girls it takes a few years, others have a quicker recovery.
We observed that through therapy and meditation they can become who they want to be and it’s so amazing to see their journey. On a measurable level you can see they’re making a lot of academic progress, however in India there are schools that don’t accept the children of sex workers as per the Indian saying “The daughter of a whore is a whore”.
To read about an incredible success story, what happiness and success really mean, just wait a few days!
We will soon post the second part of the interview.