The Dakshinpuri slums in South Delhi are home to many of Delhi’s skilled labourers. Although many of the homes have been renovated, there is still a lot of work to be done.
Water supply and sanitation are some of the most pressing problems, which lead to hygiene-related issues. The access to education and gender inequality are other big concerns in this region.
A big problem the staff faced was that the girls were seldom allowed to go outside and play. The Magic Bus staff has been working relentlessly to tackle this issue, and the situation is steadily changing for the better.
The programme began here in November 2011 and there are around 250 children.
Sanju, 17-year-old boy, kept bad company. He also had problems with addictions.
When he joined Magic Bus, the Youth mentor persistently counselled him on the importance of good behaviour and the ills of addiction.
Due to Magic Bus’s persistent efforts, Sanju managed to turn his life around. Now, he is an active member of the programme and is getting his life in order. He is an excellent football player and is a part of the under-17 football team. He also works part time in an effort to become independent.
Sanju’s behaviour has changed considerably: he has become patient, respectful and helpful. He is a role model for all the other children in his community.
Gayatri is another teenager from Dakshinpuri to have overcome odds. Because of gender inequality in the community, girls are not allowed to go out of their houses and are encouraged to help with household chores instead.
Not allowed to go out and play, Gayatri stayed home. She became very reserved and shy. Even after she joined Magic Bus, she would not interact with the other children.
The Community Youth Leaders’ persistent efforts helped increase her confidence. She started talking to everyone, including boys, and is now an active member of the programme.
She even bagged the first prize in a drawing competition that the Magic Bus staff organised in the community recently. She is now a role model to the young children in the community.
Sessions are conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 to 10 am, and are divided into three parts:
(Photographs from Magic Bus areas of operation are used for representation only.)