The Wazirabad area in North Delhi faces a growing threat due to untreated waste disposed near the area. Industrial plants and factories cause this problem.
Ambedkar Basti is home to mostly daily-wage workers who cannot afford to pay rent in colonies with better facilities. Residents here make just enough money to be classified as above the poverty line, but this is hardly enough to sustain livelihoods.
The community is patriarchal and girls are generally not allowed to leave the house. This is also because of the fact that there is a high degree of eve teasing that goes unchecked.
The low involvement of women and girls in the community was a problem when the programme was initiated. The staff is working towards this and there has been a noticeable change.
The Magic bus programme in Ambedkar Basti has around 75 children, of which 36 are girls.
Sanitation in the area was also a problem caused by improper waste disposal. The playing ground was the dumping ground of the community, but after the Magic bus programme began, the children were encouraged to clean up their neighbourhood, which they did enthusiastically. Seeing this, parents and others in the community also decided to change. They have now stopped dumping waste into the ground.
The Youth Mentor in charge of operations in Ambedkar Basti is Akash.
A few of the areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors include:
• Importance of personal and environmental hygiene
• Equal treatment of boys and girls
• Importance of education
• Respect for elders
The Magic bus sessions last for 2 hours each and are divided into three stages: