Mrinalini's Story - Every Child Deserves Support

In the city of Guwahati in the eastern Indian state of Assam, a group of boys and girls gather in an open field. Using chalk lines and wooden sticks, they created imaginary stones across a fantastical river of flames. Hand-in-hand, they carefully crossed the terrible river using the stepping stones for safety. This is one of Magic Bus’ special games called the “Five Passes”, an exciting adventure that helps teach communication, problem solving, and teamwork skills, as everyone works together to cross the flaming river. Among those taking part is a teenage girl called Mrinalini, and activities like the River of Flames are transforming her life in ways she never thought possible before.

15-year-old Mrinalini has an incredible passion for creativity. From painting to singing to dancing, she loves to express herself. She even designed posters that were used to promote water conservation at her local Magic Bus summer camp sessions. But Mrinalini struggled in school. Like many children around the world, she simply learned at a different pace from everyone else. But rather than recognising her different needs, Mrinalini’s teachers simply recommended to her parents that she withdraw from school, crushing her confidence and hopes for the future.

Magic Bus learned about Mrinalini’s struggles at school during a “Sit, Breathe, Think” activity during a session. Sit, Breathe, Think (SBT) is an opportunity for participants to reflect, discuss, and learn about the lessons and skills being taught in that particular Magic Bus session, and it was here that the Magic Bus mentors learned about Mrinalini’s growing reluctance to go to school. It quickly became clear that she needed additional support. After several home visits to speak with Mrinalini’s parents, her learning difficulties became apparent, and so meetings with her teachers were organised. Mrinalini’s Magic Bus mentors helped her teachers recognise that she needed additional support. As a result, both her confidence and academic performance has begun to improve.

Today, thanks to the intervention made by Magic Bus, and special activities like “Five Passes”, Mrinalini’s confidence is greater than ever. No longer afraid to ask her friends, family or teachers for help when needed, her problem-solving skills and self-assuredness continue to grow, and she’s now begun to think positively about what her future might hold.

“Today, I understand that people have different grasping abilities and learning pace, and I no longer feel ashamed. I’m grateful to Magic Bus for bringing this awareness to my school and community. I now excel in teamwork at school and have grand aspirations to support children like me in my community.”