Robin Chaurasiya is one of the co-founders of Kranti, an NGO that empowers girls from Mumbai’s red-light areas to become agents of social change. She has been shortlisted for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize 2016. She will compete with teachers from the UK, US, Kenya, Palestine, Japan, Finland, Australia, and Pakistan.
Names of the 10 shortlisted teachers were announced by renowned scientist Stephen Hawking in London.
“I wasn’t the easiest person to teach. I was slow to learn to read and my handwriting was untidy. But, at the age of 14, my teacher, Dikran Tahta, showed me how to harness my energy and encouraged me to think creatively about maths. He made me wonder. He made me curious. He opened up new worlds to me. That is what a great teacher can do,” Hawking said during the announcement.
Robin, who refers to her students as krantikaris (revolutionaries), runs a school for daughters of sex workers and victims of human trafficking in Mumbai.
The students are between the ages of 12 and 20 and the curriculum includes English, computers, dance therapy, meditation, photography, theatre, field trips, education through music, and more. The students are encouraged to become peer teachers and community leaders.
30-year-old Robin was born in Los Angeles and served with the US Air Force for many years. She co-founded Kranti in 2011 and volunteered with an anti-trafficking NGO in Uganda.
The Global Teacher Prize was created last year by entrepreneur Sunny Varkey of UK-based Varkey Foundation. It is an annual award given to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession, and is widely referred to as the Nobel Prize for teachers. The top 10 have been shortlisted from 8,000 nominations and applications received from 148 countries around the world. This award celebrates the exceptional work of teachers around the world who inspire their students. The finalist will be announced on March 13 in a ceremony in Dubai.
“I hope her story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over India and throughout the world every day,” Sunny Varkey said while talking about Robin.
According to their website, the Global Teacher Prize Judging Academy includes public officials, head teachers, academics, journalists, entrepreneurs, company directors, scientists, and entertainment industry personalities from around the world.
You can show your support for Robin by sharing her work on social media with #teachersmatter. Watch her talk about Kranti here:
This video was originally published here.