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“Education is the beacon of hope that illuminates the path from hardship to prosperity. It is through knowledge that we rewrite our destiny and create a brighter future for ourselves and those we love.”

Rising from Hardship: A Journey of Determination & Resilience

Manish Kumar Barui was born into a lower middle-class family in the vibrant city of Kolkata. His father, facing unemployment, made the difficult decision to move the family to Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, where they had ancestral property. Life in Ghazipur was a constant struggle, but his father managed to start a business that sustained them for twelve years.

Unfortunately, Manish’s access to quality education was limited in Ghazipur. As the years passed, his father’s health deteriorated and his business eventually collapsed, leaving them in dire financial straits. Determined to improve their situation, the family made the decision to return to Kolkata after thirteen challenging years.

Back in Kolkata, the reality of their circumstances hit them hard. His father had to resort to working as a ferry hawker to make both ends meet, while also attempting to start a business of his own. However, despite his best efforts, his entrepreneurial ventures did not succeed. To ensure that her children could continue their education, Manish’s mother made the difficult decision to sell her cherished jewellery, which provided for their schooling for almost three years. The family faced further hardships when Manish‘s grandfather refused to offer support despite having sound financial status, and the family was forced to live in a cramped single room that could barely accommodate them. However, their determination to survive prevailed, and they managed to make the most of their difficult circumstances.

Meanwhile, Manish’s father managed to secure a job as a peon in an organization. Witnessing the struggles his family endured, Manish became determined to focus on his education. From class 9th, he decided to become a serious student, even though they couldn’t afford tuition fees or proper school uniforms. With their limited resources, they managed to purchase a second-hand white shirt and blue pants from a haat or bazaar situated near the Liberty cinema hall in Kolkata. Manish‘s mother washed the uniform every night, ensuring it was presentable next day.

Manish witnessed numerous instances where he often accompanying his mother as she sold jewellery. One such instance was: His father, a hardworking cherry business owner, supplied cherries to one of his relatives and was eagerly awaited the payment on the auspicious occasion of Diwali

Manish witnessed numerous instances where he often accompanying his mother as she sold jewellery. One such instance was: His father, a hardworking cherry business owner, supplied cherries to one of his relatives and was eagerly awaited the payment on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. From the early hours ofthe morning until late in the evening, he sat patiently in their shop, hopeful of receiving the promised money. However, as the day wore on, his optimism turned into disappointment when the relative failed to fulfill his commitment. The weight of his unmet expectations became heavier as he realized that he now had no funds to celebrate the puja or purchase customary offerings.

He returned home with a heavy heart, his disappointment evident to everyone as tears rolled from his eyes .While others adorned themselves with jewellery during the festivities, Manish’s mother made a difficult decision. She chose to sell her precious jewellery to purchase offerings and food items for the family, ensuring that they could at least celebrate the festival, albeit with a heavy heart.Struggle continue

In desperate times, Manish’s mother would sell her home scrap materials to buy essential food items. Their meagre living conditions meant they didn’t even have a blanket to cover during winter, so his mother improvised by covering them with a jute bag on a thin linen sheet. The sight of his mother parting With her cherished jewellery, tears welling up in her eyes, struck a deep chord shape our determination.” within Manish. He realized the immense sacrifices his parents had made to ensure his education and their struggle to make both ends meet- Their hardships only fuelled his determination to succeed and change their circumstances.

These incidents served as a constant reminder to Manish of the importance of education and financial stability. He vowed to work tirelessly to create a better future for himself and his family, where they would not have to face such hardships again. It became a driving force for him, reinforcing his belief that education was the key to transforming their lives. These incidents served as a constant reminder to Manish of the importance of education and financial stability. He vowed to work tirelessly to create a better future for himself and his family, where they would not have to face such hardships again. It became a driving force for him, reinforcing his belief that education was the key to transforming their lives.

Determined to break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy, Manish became the first person in his family to clear the 10th board exam with a first division in 1997. Recognizing the importance of education, he took it upon himself to fund his own studies. Manish started providing tuition to students from class 7 to 10, using the income to pay for his college fees and other expenses. Despite financial and health setbacks, Manish persevered. He completed his 12th-grade exam in 1999 with a first division. However, his pursuit of a B.Com ( Honours ) degree was cut short due to financial constraints and health issues, causing him to drop out during his second year. Undeterred, Manish found employment as an assistant accountant and dedicated himself to his job. For seven years, he put his education on hold but eventually decided to resume his studies.

Unfortunately, his attempts to pursue a bachelor’s degree in commerce were met with rejection. Disheartened, he contemplated quitting his education entirely. It was at this critical juncture that Manish’s father in-tervened, advising him to at least complete his Bachelor degree. Despite facing several rejections, Manish found a lifeline through distance education, and he reluctantly pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Arts. He had little interest in the subject, barely studied for a few days before the exam. Miraculously, he managed to scrape through and just passed the B.A. exam. After completing his bachelor’s degree in arts through distance education, Manish found himself frustrated with the lack of fulfilment he experienced. He took on a job at an international call centre for a year, but deep down, he knew that he wanted something more.

In 2010, just after his marriage, he made the courageous decision to pursue his studies once again, firmly believing that education was the key to changing his destiny. Fortune smiled upon Manish as he received an opportunity to join one of India’s prestigious management institutes to pursue Post graduate programme in planning and entrepreneurship. With the savings he had accumulated over the past ten years, he invested in his sister’s marriage and utilized the remaining amount to fund his own education. Finally, after a gap of eleven years since completing his class 12 in 1999, Manish could fully concentrate on his studies. He worked tire-lessly, studying during daytime while working full-time from afternoon till night.

In this two-year period, nobody at his college knew that Manish was married or that he had taken an eleven-year break from his studies. Competing with much younger students, he applied himself diligently and excelled in most modules and semesters. In 2012, he proudly became a gold medallist in his post-graduate program having swept 11 awards along with a cash reward of rupees 25,000. Despite receiving numerous job opportunities in India, Manish turned them down. Instead, he decided to pursue his dream of studying abroad, which was ignited back in 2003 when someone from his family was going abroad for study. However, at that time, financial constraints prevented him from pursuing higher education overseas, causing him great disappointment.

One of his relatives encouraged him to study abroad and suggested that he would arrange a loan from the bank to support his studies. Unfortunately, his relative who was supposed to help him with the loan cheated and betrayed him, leaving Manish in a difficult situation. This betrayal cost him two years, from 2003 to 2004, as he had to find alternative ways to finance his education.

He promised himself that one day, he would go abroad and fulfill his aspirations to attain a foreign degree, relying solely on his own efforts and determination. It took Manish six months of persistence, approaching different moneylenders in India, to secure a loan of Rs 25 lakh. With this loan, he travelled to New Zealand to pursue an MBA in Finance.

Three months later, his wife joined him on this new chapter of their lives. The real struggle began as Manish found himself burdened with paying an interest amount of 55,000 rupees per month to various money lenders. Despite the restrictions allowing only 20 hours of work per week, he dedicated himself to studying and worked 35-40 hours per week, often accepting cash-paying jobs to support themselves financially.

Manish’s perseverance paid off when he successfully completed his studies, earning distinctions in both PGDBA and MBA degree in New Zealand. During his time there, he worked odd jobs at liquor shops, convenience stores, events, and in security company to make both ends meet. In 2015, he secured a job as a business lecturer in a college, allowing him to begin repaying his loans.

He taught at the New Zealand college for three years. Gradually, his dedication paid off, and he obtained permanent residency ( PR ) of New Zealand for himself and for his wife. But he had always yearned to contribute something meaningful to his own country and to take care of his parents as he is the only son. so, in 2018, he decided to return to India while his wife chose to stay back. Their paths diverged, leading to separation and eventually divorce in 2020.

Upon returning to India, Manish started his own business as a career counsellor, educational & immigration consultant, a field he had been involved in since 2013. Additionally, he established his own charitable trust, driven by his first-hand experience of witnessing hardships and indebtedness. In the second half of 2018, he applied for the registration of the charitable trust, and by the beginning of 2019, it was officially recognized.

In 2019, Manish fulfilled a long-cherished wish, gifting his mother the jewellery she had sold for his education. He also repaid all his debts, purchased a two-bedroom flat for his parents in kolkata, and embarked on a new endeavour-an ambitious journey towards a Ph.D. in management, specializing in macroeconomics from Malaysia. His passion and talent were recognized, earning him a scholarship at a prestigious university in Malaysia in 2021.

In 2022, with the Covid-19 pandemic causing disruptions in various industries, Manish decided not to rely solely on one or two businesses. Instead, he incorporated ten companies simultaneously. One foundation / NGO was dedicated to his mother, honouring her unwavering support, while another was established in reverence to Lord Shiva, who had guided him throughout his struggles.

Today, Manish Kumar Barui stands as a beacon of inspiration and resilience. His unwavering determination, coupled with his commitment to education and philanthropy, has transformed his life and the lives of many others. From the depths of poverty and adversity, he has risen to become a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and scholar. With his nine companies, two foundations one NGOs, and one charitable trust, he aims to make a lasting impact on society, forever grateful for the sacrifices his parents made and the lessons learned on that sombre Diwali night.