Who We Are:
We are Krantikaris – that’s Hindi for "Revolutionaries" – from Kranti, an NGO that empowers girls from Mumbai's red-light areas to become agents of social change. We are the daughters of sex workers. We are girls who were trafficked. We are girls who were born and raised in Kamathipura, Asia’s most infamous red-light area. We are young women, ages 13-19, with big dreams and big plans to change the world.
Change Through Theatre:
In 2013, we Krantikaris wrote, directed, and performed a play about our lives. By sharing our stories, we wanted to raise awareness of sex workers’ lives and their daily struggles. It turns out our play was so awesome we were asked to perform it in over 50 venues in front of over 100K+ people! Our play helped change thousands of people’s mindsets about us, our moms, and our community. Now, we want to share our stories with the world!
Our Next Play:
Laal Batti Express (Red-Light Express) is a three-segment depiction of our past, present and future – our mothers' work, our childhoods in brothels and NGOs, the discrimination we’ve faced, the struggles we’ve overcome, and our hopes and dreams for the future. The title “Lal Batti Express,” means “red-light” as in Kamathipura but also as in a VIP “red-light” – the world might not see or treat us as VIPs, but the title (as well as the train component) symbolizes our personal journey from being the most marginalized of society to teaching mainstream society through theater.
Why We Travel:
We can’t change the world without seeing it first! We grew up in Kamathipura, and the red-light area was our entire world. After coming to Kranti, we traveled for the first time in our lives; our world grew to include all of Mumbai and slowly India. Now, we want to expand our world beyond India. While traveling will broaden our worldviews, our personal stories will broaden our audiences’ worldview. We know that others need inspiration to make change too - this is why we'll be bringing our community to theirs, through the magic of theatre!
The Grand Plan:
Our four-week itinerary, in addition to our performances, includes visits to NGOs working on girls’ and women’s rights, sex workers’ groups, universities, schools, prisons, and other organizations working with marginalized youth. Starting from 13 May, we plan to travel to New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.
How to Help:
All of our transportation, food, lodging and sightseeing will be donated by individuals and companies in the USA. But we are fundraising for the things that people can’t donate: visa applications, theater props, venue fees, etc.
Will you support the Lal Batti Express to carry our voices all the way from Mumbai’s red-light area to stages in the US??