This is Sheetal's story told by her to Kranti
Hi, I'm Sheetal! I'm 19, in 10th grade and I love to dance and play drums. A normal teenage life? Yes, but I grew up in Mumbai's red-light area. I am the daughter of a sex worker and I've never met my dad. I'm still in 10th because I've only been to school 3 years of my life. I faced a lot of violence, rape and discrimination....But I have big dreams! I want to go to a music school in the US for drumming diploma so I can start music classes in the red-light area. Will you help me get to the USA?
Like all girls growing up in the red-light area, I never had access to quality education, healthcare and other resources. I was taught that "a prostitute's daughter will only be a prostitute" and I was never allowed to have big dreams. But when I came to Kranti NGO, I studied, I had therapy, and most importantly, I had the chance to dream. I also found my passion in life - playing the drums. I want to attend this 1-year diploma program and bring music to my community, Kamathipura red-light area.
In the past 2 years, I have seen how powerful music can be as a tool for social change. I have seen people drumming to protest, drumming to fundraise and drumming to entertain. I want to do all of these things for my community. I also want the opportunity to live and study abroad - it has always been a childhood dream which I, a sex worker's daughter, never thought would come true. But I believe an experience like this will help me as a person and as a leader.
I know this is a lot of money for one person. But the money will not end with me - I will use the skills, confidence and experiences I gain to help other girls from my community. They also deserve the chance to have big dreams and amazing experiences. I want to start a music program in Kamathipura because I think music is amazing therapy. I also want sex workers and their kids to use music to fight for their rights, especially when they are protesting police brutality and other big problems.