Babu Nagar is located in the Shiv Vihar area in Karawal Nagar, East Delhi. The area is a mixed-income neighbourhood – some residents are white collar job-holders and professionals like doctors, lawyers and teachers, while others work in work as bottom-feeders in jobs like sweeping and guarding. The houses here are well built with closed drains and in-house toilets; the poorer households live in more cramped quarters.
Magic Bus employees Indu and Mukesh Kumar Gupta started work in Babu Nagar in December 2011. At the time of starting out, some challenges typical to neighbourhoods like this came up. The first such problem was the unavailability of a safe play area where the Magic Bus sessions could be conducted.
We started out by putting up this as a demand to the authorities to create a park in the locality. But we could not wait until such a park was made so we started to conduct the sessions on the empty plots available.
“We still need a playground because a lot of these plots that we use for sessions are taken up for construction. So we shifted our sessions to Bhagat Vihar where there is a big ground that belongs to the Bhagat Vihar School”, says Dharamender, the Magic Bus employee in charge of the programme in Babu Nagar today.
“Creating safe play spaces where our sessions can be held and where children can play and learn together is part of our intent,” says Avik Swarnakar, Magic Bus’ State Lead, Delhi. “Spreading awareness about this need is an essential part of our advocacy work.”
The Magic Bus Sport for Development sessions are held on Sundays in Babu Nagar. Key behaviour change messages imparted during these 2 hour sessions include:
At sessions which last for 2 hours and are divided into 3 parts, Magic Bus interacts with children using the following structure:
• 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