A-2 block is a small part of the slum area in Madanpur Khadar, a village on the outskirts of South Delhi. The area has been brought into media focus recently as a case study of India’ sanitation challenge.
“On the other side…is a block where one cannot walk without stepping on human excreta. Children run across a bridge over a canal to get to an area covered with tall grass to defecate.”
Read the full report on: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/bIG8FQgXD3ssMhCWXZml3J/Children-bear-the-brunt-as-sanitation-facilities-fall-short.html?utm_source=copy
“Living in the A2 block is in many ways a nightmare, says Kusum Mohapatra, who heads the Delhi State programme at Magic Bus. “Below-poverty-line families are forced to spend as much as Rs. 1000 on treating vector-borne diseases that children and adults alike are very prone too.” The settlement is not served by any of the Government’s free-of-cost health centres.
Homes here are made of temporary materials such as plastic sheets. Most of the community people work as labourers, who earn and spend on the same day for running their livelihood.
Besides the health challenge, education too is an area of concern, particularly because dropping out of school is so common.
Pramod Kumar Gupta joined Magic Bus on 3rd January 2014. Pramod’s father is a vegetable vendor and the family is very poor.
Before he became an active Magic Bus participant, Pramod was a disruptive element, creating ruckus at any meetings or rallies we held in the area. Even after joining the programme he was a constant cause for concern and would continuously disrupt classes.
Looking at his behavioural issues, he was given personality and life skills development inputs that gradually taught him his role in the community and his own family. “It took time, but now Pramod has become very responsible. He helps out at my vegetable shop and also helps out in Magic Bus sessions,” says his father.
How did this change happen? The learning that changed Pramod’s behaviour happened through a process of experience, reflection, application and consolidation. His Magic Bus mentors used metaphors to make it easier for Pramod to connect the activity with his real life experiences and thus makes learning more relevant.
“Activities are designed such that children are engaged in a manner that they imbibe the learning themselves rather than someone enforcing the learning outcomes on them,” says Kusum Mohapatra. “Peer learning and experiential learning is the key and the mentor facilitates this process of learning by ensuring a safe and joyful environment where everyone feels safe to participate.”
Areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors:
• Reading and writing are equally important for boys as for girls
• It is important to attend school every day and the Science subjects should not be intimidating
• We need to concentrate equally on all subjects taught at school
• It is okay for boys and girls to play and work together
• Everyone is unique; decision making skills are as important as physical strength
• It is important to have a balanced diet
The Community Volunteers have built a strong rapport with the parents, children and other members of the community which is highly effective in the growth of the programme and helps in reaching out to an increasing number of children for their development.
"Rohit, one of our best Community Volunteers, procured support and sponsorship from Community Leaders in partnership with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and organised a training programme for the volunteers recently," shared Awunghsi, a Training and Monitoring Officer overseeing the work here.
Sessions are conducted on Fridays and Sundays and are divided into 3 parts:.
• Warm up: The development goal is introduced using interactive activities
• Main activity: The development goal is reinforced using sports and activities
• Review: A discussion is facilitated to draw parallels to real-life situations and sum up the learning objectives