Friday, June 22, 2012

How to Help Aparna and Girls Like Her

Aparna Bhola. 
Neha Thirani for The New York TimesAparna Bhola.
The India Ink article, “Meet Aparna, Mumbai’s Teenage Sex Educator,” inspired many among our readers to write and leave comments on the piece, asking how they could help Aparna to fulfill her dream of becoming a gynecologist.
Venkat, writing from New Jersey, asked India Ink to publish more information, “… so that readers can provide any help in finding and nurturing more Aparnas. Thanks for the report.” A reader named Jenn in Penang, Malaysia, added, “Neha, how can we get a scholarship set for Aparna to ensure she is able to pursue her dream? Or, bureaucracy aside, just get some money to her to help her on her way?”
Aparna is one of nine girls presently living at Kranti, an organization that seeks to rehabilitate young women rescued from sex work by providing education, housing and counseling. Kranti was founded in 2009 by Trina Talukdar and Robin Chaurasiya.
Aparna’s sex education class at Project Crayons was supported by Kranti’s Social Justice Education curriculum. As part of the program, the girls focus each month on a different international issue, carry out research and hold debates. The girls are given access to a series of educational lectures, field trips, documentaries and plays. This year, they attended summer camps that taught such things as surviving in the Maharashtra forest and filmmaking in the jungle outside of Chennai.
Helping the girls at Kranti can take many forms. Volunteering is one option. Local businesswomen sometimes serve as tutors and mentors to the girls. Kranti is currently working on an internship for Aparna to shadow a local doctor and work at a hospital. The organization is sending two girls to Nepal to educate others about the hardships of sex work. Help in finding other educational opportunities for the girls is welcomed by Kranti.
People interested in providing financial support can contact Kranti staff via email at and to get details of a bank account the organization has with ICICI bank. Checks made to “Kranti” will be deposited in the same account. Ms. Talukdar said that 100 percent of the money deposited in the account goes toward the girls’ educational costs, including scholarships. Donations are also accepted for housing expenses.
Kranti’s global giving page includes a layout of operational costs and future planning. To find updates on Kranti’s current work, you can visit its Facebook page or follow the organization on Twitter at @KrantiMumbai.


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