Robin Chaurasiya, the daughter of immigrant parents from Indore, India, grew up in Seattle in the United States. As a feminist, woman of color, a child of immigrants, and also a lesbian, she experienced many forms of marginalization and became an activist for social change at a young age. A survivor of abuse, Chaurasiya’s interest in girls’ and women’s issues led her to volunteer at NGOs around the world for ten years before completing her MA in Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest. It was while volunteering in Mumbai that Chaurasiya started envisioning an NGO that challenged the status quo — where high expectations for education and leadership were the norm, for girls who had been "counted out" by most of society. She later founded Kranti, which empowers girls from Mumbai’s redlight areas to become agents of social change. Prior to Kranti, Chaurasiya was an officer in the US military and a well-known activist for queer rights in the army. Along with dozens of activists, she organized civil disobedience protests and spoke at dozens of rallies to fight for the repeal of the military’s policy, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which forbade lesbian, gay and transgender people from serving openly in the army. Before joining the US military, she worked on Veterans’ Affairs in then-Senator Barack Obama’s office. Today, her activism takes the shape of organizing and campaigning with the Forum Against Oppression of Women and LABIA (Lesbians And Bisexuals in Action) in Mumbai.
September 18, 2013
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