SHAKTI is a project very dear to our hearts. Here at Shibaranjani, there is one common belief that ties us all together - ANYONE CAN DANCE. Through SHAKTI we strive to enable students from underprivileged backgrounds receive dance training. If someone harbors the desire or the talent, should the lack of resources stand in their way? Sometimes all that’s needed is a stage. At Shibaranjani, we just want to bring the stage to the ones that desire to be on it.
Our New York City classes held on Tuesdays from 7-9PM at 519 Eigth Avenue, are open to underprivileged students to receive dance training. This class also includes paying students in order to build diversity and create exposure for students from low economic backgrounds. The funds we raise from the class, as well as other Shibaranjani fundraiser events held around the year, help us fund our goals for Project SHAKTI, which include, supporting not only the dance education for students from underprivileged homes, but also providing for health and nutrition (specifically for our underprivileged students in India).
SUPPORTING OTHER SOCIAL CAUSES
Shibaranjani, collaborates with other non-profit organizations in India, such as Apne Aap Women Worldwide. These organizations work with Indian women in areas such as sex trafficking, abuse and violence against women.
Sex trafficking is an age-old profession and one in which daughters tend to follow suit the mother’s profession with a high probability. These girls are born with a tainted fate due to their environment and lack the opportunities to venture out.
Dipanwita Roy, the founder and artistic director of Shibaranjani, has been working with such girls from the red light areas in Kolkata in an effort to introduce them to a new world. She wants to convey to them that they can choose differently. She has been imparting her knowledge of dance onto them for many years.
But she (along with all of us at Shibaranjani) realizes that just showing the light of hope isn’t enough. Economics, lack of opportunities and other limitations are real problems that can easily overcast the light.
Our goal is to create dancers out of these girls, create opportunities for them to perform, which will hopefully become their source of income. Giving them an opportunity to create a source of income is one way to ensure that they have a choice outside of prostitution to financially support themselves.
A portion of our fundraising efforts and the income generated from our classes also help support these efforts.