When I finished my high School, I knew what I wanted to become. I wanted to become a business leader. So, I set my eyes on a target: the most prestigious business school of my country. Unfortunately, I did not get into my dream school and settled for a decent business school in my country. I remember the first day of stepping into the campus, convinced firmly that I had lost my path. So be it: let life have me meander in my lost path. One day, while exploring my campus, I heard of a slum, a slum within half a mile radius of the most luxurious places of the capital. And soon, as way leads on to way, I found ways into the slum. Little did I know, that one little caprice of curiosity would change the trajectory of my life. I was shocked to see how different life was there on the other side. Gradually, I started to routinely seek out opportunities to drop by in the slum after my classes, to see their lives closely, to sit with them, to listen to their stories, their miseries and challenges, their needs and demands from life. I have seen extremely privileged people in life, and by now I have seen people silently craving even the basic human necessities of living, for example- treatment for an infection. I used to have hard times sleeping at night thinking about the economic gap between these two demographics and how unjust it is for those in the vulnerable group. An intense urge to do something, anything, kept me awake at night.
While I engaged myself in acquiring various skills during the 4 years of college life, I kept looking for opportunities to channel my skills to the people who needed my skills the most. I kept working even when the dots didn’t seem to connect, but they all converged in the end. One day, I found myself sitting in the middle of a field with 30 rural women listening to me about how we are going to work with them. That was the place where Briddhi started, not in an office, but in a field of a remote village. “Briddhi”, which translates “Growth” in English, started its journey from North of Bangladesh. I stepped into working for their healthcare, empowering rural young women to prevent child marriage, promoting technical and vocational education (TVET), breaking stereotypes of the society on gig-economy workers through my organization Briddhi. Consisting of a crew of 17 dynamic people, with over a hundred direct beneficiaries, Briddhi is now living its vision.
Briddhi is my new identity, and this is my transformation story. In retrospect, I now realize the place I so yearned for was not a place in the top business school but a platform to make a difference in the development sector of Bangladesh. And if there ever was a true achievement for me, it was when hundreds of neglected people smiled, and I was the reason behind.