I am invincible – By Christine Paradinas & Madhumita Das
Madhumita was found in Mother Teresa’s Prem Dan home with her paralyzed mother over 15 years ago. They hit the lottery in life when wonderful Spanish social workers offered them both a place to live. In a girls home outside the city that gave them the security they needed. Madhumita was finally able to attend school and was a brilliant student from the start.
We had the opportunity to develop a relationship with both mother and daughter over the years and once Madhumita graduated High school with flying colors we worked together to find the best possible option for her to succeed. There is so much to write about Madhumita and her fight in life, being a poor girl from Kolkata, to where she is today. But for that we will have to wait for her to write her first autobiography. For now, we will share a little bit about her from the moment she joined Girl2B.
Tell us a little about your background.
My life has been a roller-coaster ride. My dreams, hard work and the love and support of my well-wishers have guided and brought me to this point of success where I can work and fend for myself and look after my paralyzed mother. I never knew my family. I have never met my father. I only know that I had an elder sister who was sold to a man by my mother’s best friend who had promised to take care of her till my mom got well. I also had a younger sister who was born after my father left us. My mom had to give her away as she was starting to get paralyzed and her breast-milk had dried up. Or was she sold too? I am the lucky one who got all the opportunities to shine.
Tell us about the pressures of having a sick mom.
I had been staying at the college hostel for the past year and a half, while my mom stays in the Hope Nursing Home. Seeing my mom day after day in a hospital bed drove me into thinking that I was old enough and educated enough to take my mom out of her miseries. I started looking for part-time jobs. The pressure was eating me every day. As I was in my door room studying, I could only think of my mom. I knew I had to do something.
What was it like trying to get your first job?
It was undoubtedly tough at first, with all the gender inequalities and society looking down at what “supposedly” can a young single girl be doing. The thought that society doesn’t put food on my plate, roof over my head, clothes on my body, or help when I am in need, turned me dead to all their negative remarks. I tried-failed. Tried again, failed. Ran here, ran there – nothing. Then I gave up. But that did not last long. One fine day when going back to the paying guest (that is where I am staying now), from college, a gentleman in the same auto-rickshaw I was travelling commented on how good my English was. We started talking and he said that he manages events and also has a clothing line and he’d been looking for somebody to model for his company. According to him I was good enough. He gave me his visiting card and I was soooo super excited! I consulted my elders but they advised me not to go for that as I better brains than brawn. And honestly what was this man up to? To say the least I was a little dejected…..that same very night I got a call from a guy who asked me whether I would like to work part-time in events. My answer was “yes, of course!” He asked me to meet him and his boss the very next day as they needed to check my profile…and by god’s grace and my pretty mom, I got selected! My per day payment was rs.350. Two weeks later my boss commented on how sincere I was with my work and my per day payment rose to rs.450.
How has Girl2B helped you get to where you are today?
I have been through many ups and downs. 20 years of life have taught me to be strong-willed, to smile through all the pain, that life is a challenge, to never lose hope, to be a fighter cause every dark cloud has a silver lining. Girl2B provided a rock solid foundation when I was fresh out of high school. I was at the top of my class, against all odds, yet couldn’t anchor my ship as I was clouded by confusion and the fear of not knowing “what do I do now?” Who will guide me? Then landed two angels-Christine and Alfonso who held my hand, cleared the clouds and asked me to focus on my strengths. Voila! In a few days I got selected into one of the best colleges in Kolkata and have now happily completed 3 semesters, never losing the winning streak and always getting high GPAS. I am doing something I love and I love being part of Girl2B.
Where do you see your future now?
I worked so hard networking once I entered university and my list of contacts lengthened. When I finally got my first part-time job at a marketing firm, word spread about my communication skills, which lead to also working part-time with a production house. I have so much to do now I can barely keep up. I feel so satisfied saving every penny to get a little flat where I can shift my mom, care for her, and make her feel content. I will be able to cook in my own kitchen, relax in my own living room, and sleep on my own bed. I will actually own something of my own! My only dream right now is to make my mother happy and hear her and everybody who has supported me say “that’s my girl.” I will forever be grateful to Girl2B for providing me with the support to reach this far and never losing faith with in me. I wish someday to be an ambassador for this wonderful project and spread its goodness around the globe and laugh on the face of life “you can’t put me down. I am invincible.”