Sunday, October 21, 2012

Six years of Saffron Tree...A Book Drive for Kranti, India

Six years ago, we embarked on a journey. A journey to showcase the best of Indian, Indian American and other children's books focusing on diversity, nature and other eclectic themes we passionately care about in reading to our own children.

Today, we are a team of 18, offering our readers a steady stream of reviews each month. We've been growing as a community and at our own pace, to share and connect with one single passion - a passion to promote reading children's books!

By running it entirely as a not-for-profit with no revenues of any sort to support our existence, Saffron Tree has always been fiercely independent in its voice and book-choice. Our books are almost always handpicked. The sole motivation being the honest desire to spread the joy of and love for children's books. We are truly proud of what we do!

CROCUS - Our annual book blog festival to "Celebrate Reading of Culturally Unique Stories" starts tomorrow. On this special eventful week, please allow us to give you all a quick glimpse into another nonprofit that needs all our collective support.

Earlier this September, we heard from Katie Pollom, the Director of Kranti ( ) India and the wonderful work that her team does in Mumbai, at Kranti India. She mentioned her interest in collaborating with Saffron Tree, and that she would need books featuring contemporary and traditional Indian and multi-cultural tales and stories, as diverse as India and the world, for her center's library.

Dear Readers, please read below, all about Kranti's awe-inspiring work on supporting a socially marginalized group of women and protecting their rights!


"Our mission is to give the daughters of sex workers (Revolutionaries) and other marginalized girls the education, counseling, and resources necessary to become leaders of social change. We've been officially housing and educating girls since 2010, and the education within the home is focused on social justice units, which are the foundation of everything we do to support them as learners and leaders. Our model encourages them to learn about the root causes of injustice, volunteer to affect change, and teach their peers. Our impact has been growing as we partner with many other NGOs to have our girls teach the lessons they learn at Kranti. One example is Aparna, who was featured in the NY Times recently for her sex ed classes with our partner, Project Crayons, and two girls who recently went to Nepal to volunteer with other NGOs focused on girls’ education.
In addition to formal schooling and the social justice lessons at home, we also offer our girls a variety of extra-curricular activities: music , art, photography, kung fu, swimming, football, and dance."

Empower trafficked girls and sex workers to become catalysts of social change and lead the women’s revolution in India!

Kranti (Revolution) educates and empowers trafficked girls, the daughters of sex workers, and otherwise socially marginalized girls (Revolutionaries) to become agents of social change within their communities. By providing them with a healing home, formal and extracurricular education, leadership and job training, as well as the skills and confidence to solve social problems, Kranti enables the Revolutionaries to emerge as leaders and economic assets, redefining the value of women in Indian society.

India’s Dept of Women & Children estimated in 2009 that 3 million women are trafficked throughout the country every year – 40% of whom are minors. Despite the millions of dollars poured into anti-trafficking NGOs, these statistics rise every year because current models fail to attack the root of the problem. India needs to recognize that girls are not burdens; they are an untapped source of collective strength and knowledge – they will develop the solution to India’s trafficking problem.


Access to books is an issue we deeply care about on Saffron Tree. As we complete six years together, we thought what better way to celebrate than organize a book donation drive for Kranti.

So, dear libraries, bookstores, publishers and all our wonderful parent/nonparent readers...can we all commit to sending books for Kranti? They don't have any set target or goal in terms of numbers. All they care about is that they need "good" books - stories that are eclectic, contemporary and like the ones we feature on Saffron readers, bookstores, libraries and creators of children's books. can we all show our support for Kranti by donating some books right during this year's CROCUS?

Any genre, preferably in Indian and multi-cultural fiction/nonfiction/fantasy/historical/realistic fiction/short-stories/picture books for older kids, etc. would be great to give them a sense of a broader exposure...
"Meatier, meaningful stories" for giving these girls the many pleasures of reading. It could be both in English and Hindi. In terms of age-group, Kranti prefers them to be catering to the 6 to 9, 9 to 12 and 12 and above, categories.

What should you do?

Please email Katie at Kranti, with the subject line: Attn - Books for Kranti and/or, and they will help you with the rest. If you are ordering new books for Kranti online, please make sure you get the address information and other details, for you to ship the books directly to them.

We earnestly hope the publishers and the community of creators of Indian children's books are all listening...Pratham, Tara, Tulika, CBT, NBT, Mango/D.C, Zubaan, Duckbill, Puffin, Penguin, Scholastic - we'd immensely grateful and thankful for your support!The girls truly need our support in growing their library. Let's show them we care about them....let's give them our love..let's give them books for their library!

And during CROCUS, please do stop by on Kranti's Facebook page :
and Saffron Tree's page as well, to tell us during CROCUS, about sending books to Kranti! Any thoughts/comments/inputs...would be greatly appreciated.

It could be as little as one, or one hundred or even a gazillion...well, you get the point! The quantity doesn't matter, but collectively we're confident we will be able to reach a substantial number!

CROCUS, our blog festival ends on Sunday, Oct 28th. You have a week to decide how much you want to send. And if you can send your books to Kranti by the first week of November, we thought on this Children's Day, we could share with you the exact quantity of books Kranti eventually gets for its girls, through this book donation drive!

Oh, yes... they could be gently used books too. And lastly, please feel to free to share this information and help spread the word on your facebook page. Anyway you can help garner support would be greatly appreciated!

A "GARGANTUAN THANKYOUS" in advance for contributing, supporting...we love you all! :)

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