Success Stories
Success Stories
A Young Girl's Flight To Freedom Amid Myriad Challenges
A Young Girl's Flight To Freedom Amid Myriad Challenges

Amidst the grandeur of India's 77th Independence Day celebrations, an intriguing question lingers in the air - do its people truly embody the freedom they celebrate?

Against this backdrop, a heartwarming scene emerged in a quaint corner of Assam. Bhanita, a 14-year-old girl, stood by her gate, exchanging soft words and affectionate smiles with her mother. Yet, beyond this seemingly ordinary interaction, Bhanita contemplates the essence of freedom. Her perspective has been uniquely shaped, having witnessed her mother, Asha Nath, bravely navigate the challenging waters of divorce.

"My mother is a domestic helper and I've seen all the hard work she has done after the divorce. She worked alone to give me and my brother a good life. Therefore, I admire my mother a lot," says Bhanita proudly, Magic Bus India Foundation (MBIF) beneficiary from Assam, India.

Bhanita's mother has emerged as her guiding light on the path to freedom. The obstacles she has conquered, the challenges she has faced head-on, all of them have ignited a passionate fire within the young girl.

From Struggle To Sovereignty
As the eldest daughter, Bhanita bore the weight of responsibility, deftly managing household matters to ease her mother's load. In her world, freedom took on a unique hue, shaped by her underprivileged background and her mother's recent divorce. This perspective was further shaded by the prevailing challenges faced by Bhanita's community - issues such as school dropouts, child labor, untimely marriages, and the looming specter of unemployment.

Divorce also left lasting voids for Bhanita, echoing psychological scars that experts(2) acknowledge affect all ages. The pandemic magnified her circumstances, coinciding with her parents' separation. Her father's absence caused financial strain, and changes in location and schooling sapped her enthusiasm and confidence, ultimately resulting in her being deprived of the freedom to access basic resources.

It was during this testing time that Bhanita found an invaluable ally in the Magic Bus India Foundation (MBIF). Two years ago, amidst the height of the pandemic's challenges and resource scarcities, the MBIF provided her family sustenance through dry ration kits.

Her journey continued as she joined MBIF's virtual sessions, embracing lessons in Life Skills. These skills acted as a catalyst for her to regain confidence and brought clarity to her envisioned career path. Among these sessions, the interactive games particularly captivated her, infusing learning with liveliness and interest.

Pursuit Of Freedom
Bhanita had the opportunity to cultivate various Life Skills through MBIF’s Life skills Education Programme, including:

  • Self-Efficacy : where she learnt to believe in her own abilities to meet challenges and succeed. Self-efficacy leads to academic success, effective personal adjustment, stress management, improved health, and greater satisfaction.
  • Adaptability : She learnt to adjust and respond effectively to change, uncertainty, and new information by adopting new ways and methods.
  • Empathy : She was able to understand and relate to others emotionally, considering their perspective and responding appropriately.
  • Problem-Solving : Bhanita learnt problem-solving through analysing options, choosing solutions, and acting to achieve goals. This skill delves deep into understanding underlying issues and finding innovative ways to navigate challenges in daily life.
  • Self-management : This aided her in managing emotions, thoughts, and actions in various situations, including stress, motivation, achieving goals, and adapting her time effectively.

"These vital life skills have provided me with a sense of freedom and the confidence to dream big. I dream of becoming a teacher. My teachers from school and the MBIF have ignited a fire of inspiration within me. Although I'm not yet certain about the subject I will teach, what I'm certain of is that I want to be a teacher. I particularly enjoy Social Science in class?it feels like it opens windows to diverse global perspectives," Bhanita quips.

This story stands as a testament to the interplay of circumstance and determination, a reminder that freedom is both a privilege and the strength to surmount adversity.

Thus, returning to the pivotal query - do people in India truly embody the freedom they celebrate? The resounding answer is yes. If not, the people steadfastly strive and fight to claim that cherished freedom, just as exemplified by Bhanita and her mother.

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Research 1: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/parenting/moments/the-age-when-kids-are-likely-to-be-most-traumatized-seeing-their-parents-split/articleshow/92764627.cms