Parents usually push children to realize the unfulfilled dreams of their childhood. But for Minu Budhia, it was the other way round. As a child, she had wanted to be a doctor. But there weren't too many opportunities to do so growing up in Assam's Tinsukia where girls got to study only humanities. It was finally her very special younger daughter who inspired her to take up courses in mental therapy.
What led her to start her journey?
"It was in the late 1990s when my daughter was going to pre-school that I began receiving a lot of complaints. Since she never sat still, the teacher labeled her 'naughty'. A mother's instinct told me something was wrong. But there were no proper facilities available in Kolkata then. Awareness on such issues was very low," she recalled.
Minu travelled abroad and finally did get her daughter diagnosed but once she learned about her condition, she lapsed into severe depression. "It lasted eight long years before I realized the need to accept her as a special child.
Acceptance led to drive and eventually action. She took it upon herself, to first educate herself and then bring about change, which eventually took the shape of Caring Minds.
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She underwent formal training in child brain development in Philadelphia, US, followed by a basic counselling course from Kripa Foundation, Mumbai, and then a cognitive behaviour therapy course from London. After qualifying as a psycho-therapist, she became a student counsellor at JD Birla and St Xavier's and also practised at Belle View, before deciding to open an integrated psychological and cognitive wellness centre.
She’s been awarded the prestigious, Bharat Nirman Award in 2014 and the CMA Award for Public Service in 2015.
Minu’s DNA comprises of courage, determination and whole lot of “caring”. Took notes on how to fight, sustain and lead! Listen to her life changing experinces and how she aims to make the city a better place, one step at a time.