With a population of 1209 people, Ajaypur is located in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra.66 per cent of the households here lie below the poverty line - an indicator to the extent of poverty prevailing in this area.
14 per cent of the population lie below 18 years of age.
A majority of residents are farmers. Around 40 per cent of the population are into daily wage work.
Some of the pressing problems that Magic Bus has been working on are, alcoholism, health-seeking behaviour, and awareness of hygienic practices which gives rise to several diseases.
At present, 97 children are in this transformational journey with us.
Adarsh is 13 years old and studies in the sixth standard.Adarsh's father passed away in an accident when he was 10 years old. His mother works as a helper in the aanganwadi and makes just Rs. 3000 per month. Adarsh's younger sister is in the fourth standard.
When Adarsh joined Magic Bus he was found to be irregular to school. The reasons were obvious - his father had passed away, his mother was desperately looking for employment opportunities, his younger sister needed constant supervision. Adarsh lost all interest in school and studies due to an emotional setback following his father's death.
He would often miss out on the sessions. When the Youth Mentor came to know of his plight, he visited his home and met his mother. He encouraged Adarsh to come out of mourning and start attending sessions. His mother, who was worried about Adarsh, also agreed. Once Adarsh started coming for the sessions and participated in discussions, he felt he could manage his grief better. He came to terms with his father's sudden death.
Meanwhile, the Youth Mentor, also worked on regenerating his interest in school. With constant motivation, Adarsh started believing that if he went to school, he could go on to become a policeman and help his mother overcome the severe financial crisis.
Today, Adarsh is in a much better frame of mind. He is motivated to make a difference to his family's economic condition and knows that only a good education can help him achieve this. Despite her overbearing responsibilities, Adarsh's mother's support has been indispensable in getting the latter back to school.
A few of the areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors include:
Magic Bus sessions here are conducted weekly and are divided into three 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
Photographs used are from Magic Bus areas of operation and are for representation only.