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The heart-warming story of a single mother who turned her life around.

Exhausted after a long day’s work, Shalini boarded the congested bus. She was hit by the stench of sweat and lost hope and all around her were dull, lifeless eyes. The very air tasted like despair, and Shalini felt caged. Through the bars of the window, she saw women on scooters race past the bus, their dupattas fluttering in the air – a tantalizing taste of sweet freedom. She sighed. Jolt, jerk, nudge, shove. 16 kilometers and 3 buses later, she reached home.



“Jolt, jerk, nudge, shove.

16 kilometers and 3 buses later, she reached home.”


Her heart swelled with emotion as Mahi and Samarth – her children, her life – greeted her at the door, standing with their nani. Their gentle, reproachful eyes spoke to her, “Ma, why were you away so long? We missed you”

A flash of pain ran through her heart. She wished she could spend more time with them, being their only parent.

Shalini with her children

It had only been 3 years since their father had died and ever since, Shalini had the responsibility of raising a family alone thrust upon her. A compensatory job was the standard protocol if a government employee died. The job certainly was a boon, but the bus rides were stealing away precious time with her family.

As she lay caressing their sleeping faces that night, Shalini reminded herself that she was the sole bread-winner in that house. She decided to learn to ride a scooter. It took her four months to convince her mother to let her buy one. “But what if something happens to you?” she’d demand, “what about your children?”

Through reason, she put her mother’s fears to rest.

As if by fate, Shalini heard about Aatm Nirbhar. It was the single, definitive answer to her problem. She learnt to ride the scooter.

And then, her life changed.

Shalini nurtured her family with the time and energy she saved, now that she had the scooter. The 300-odd women, who worked with her in the medical department, looked at her with renewed respect. Shalini’s scooter enabled her to regain her lost freedom, and allowed her to manage her entire house with ease and comfort. Shalini is now a happier woman, a beacon of light and strength in a world of challenging circumstances.

Two wheels and a little courage spun her life around.

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