When Indrani was still very young her father was imprisoned for killing another man in a fight. Her family were left destitute. They lived rough in a cemetery whilst her mother, who was an alcoholic, made what money she could by singing songs to entertain bus passengers. Before long Indrani, aged only 5, was placed in a children’s home by the probation services. She only saw her father once again after his release. He came to visit her but was then asked by the orphanage not to come again as he looked so poor and destitute. A few years later she heard that her father had died.
Despite terrible bullying by some orphanage staff, Indrani worked hard and passed her O and A-Levels. At 19 she wanted to leave the orphanage but was told she was expected to stay and work there. She asked visiting probation staff for help but they would only agree to her being released into the custody of her older brother. She had not seen her brother for years and he refused to help. This left her stuck in a horrendous legal limbo. Even though she was an adult she had no formal status, no papers and did not know how to challenge either the Probation Service or the children’s home where she was now effectively imprisoned. Eventually, in desperation and very frightened, she ran away in the middle of the night and went into hiding. The following few weeks were very frightening for Indrani.
Indrani was put in touch with the Brighter Path Foundation by another care leaver. Brighter Path instructed lawyers who brought court proceedings on her behalf to formalise her status and recognise her rights as an independent adult. Brighter Path also organised and funded safe accommodation for her and helped her adapt to her new life. Indrani was helped to recover her belongings and school exam certificates from the orphanage. She was very scared and anxious for several months but with the help of a mentor she started to gain confidence, talk about her ambitions and hopes for the future. She enrolled on a two year vocational training course to become a nursery school teacher. She is now in her second year of studies. Without the support of the Brighter Path Foundation she would not have been able to support herself financially or to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Indrani is still too scared to do many things on her own but despite a very challenging childhood she is now able to look forward to a fulfilling and rewarding new chapter in her life.