Resilience in rural Assam: Pranita’s story

In the heart of rural Kaibartapara, Assam, where traditional gender roles hold firm, Pranita Kaibarta, 32, defied norms by taking the reins of her family of two daughters – Gargi, 12, and Bhagyashree, 10, after her husband’s passing.

Suddenly thrust into single parenthood, Pranita had to bear the responsibilities of provider and nurturer, all while grappling with the grief of losing her partner.

This transition was a formidable challenge in the conservative village where they resided. In Kaibartapara, most women are confined to domestic roles, denied property rights, and lack access to financial resources.

Young widows face social stigma and struggle to integrate into the community. The pressure to remarry often results in fractured families.

Rebuilding their lives, the trio now resides in a sturdy concrete house, a testament to Pranita’s resilience and determination. Her daughters attend school while she works at a nearby beauty parlour.

Evenings are cherished moments spent together, bonding after a full and busy day apart.

“When my daughters see other children spend time with their dad they miss their father. However, I feel I am a better father to my daughters than all the fathers in this village. I can provide them with what others in the village cannot give to their children. I am quite proud of this,” Pranita reflects.

“I wasn’t taught financial independence as a girl, but I’m determined to instil it in my daughters,” she asserts.

"Their futures are theirs to shape, and they'll be equipped to navigate life's challenges independently.”

Pranita’s journey to financial autonomy began with joining a women’s self-help group, a pivotal step facilitated by SOS Children’s Villages. Empowered with a bank account and entrepreneurial guidance, she ventured into goat rearing, supported by a seed grant.

As her confidence grew, she diversified into pig farming, leveraging loans from her group to scale up operations. Pranita’s dedication bore fruit as she achieved financial stability and began saving for her family’s future.

After she saved enough, Pranita pursued her dream of becoming a beautician, enhancing her skills and securing employment at a local parlour. This newfound independence not only bolstered her confidence but also diversified the family’s income streams, further ensuring financial stability.

Pranita’s story resonates beyond her household, inspiring her community, with her journey from adversity to prosperity. Marked by resilience and resourcefulness, her story now serves as an inspiration to others, who, encouraged by her example, seek her guidance, eager to emulate her success.

Through initiatives like women’s collectives and self-help groups, we help single-parent families to thrive, highlighting the transformative power of community support and solidarity.

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