Block B, Sangam Vihar, is located in south Delhi, near Nanki School.
This locality is home to around 2,500 residents, most of who work as labourers, house maids, drivers, cobblers, shop-keepers, hawkers and security personnel. Many women work as house maids in the nearby Sainik Farms, a very posh locality in South Delhi.
Most of the houses are pukka houses and are equipped with toilets. There are some kuccha houses which have no toilets and the families living in these have to resort to open defecation.
There is a major water crisis in the community. More often than not the community doesn’t get any access to water for up to 20 days at a stretch. Delhi tankers provide water, but these are irregular. This water arrangement is extremely inadequate for the families living in Block B, Sangam Vihar.
Another concern as the lack of a proper drainage system in the locality. The drains are left open and often get clogged, causing them to overflow into the already narrow streets. Open drains are also nesting grounds for mosquitoes which is an even bigger problem. The sanitation system in this community is also very poor. People dump garbage everywhere, because of this there are no open spaces in the community.
When Magic Bus started operations in Block B, Sangam Vihar, in May 2012, there were no open spaces for children to play in. Sessions are conducted in a small area behind Nanki School, but the Magic Bus team is working towards changing this.
Currently, around 56 children attend sessions here. Of these, around 23 are girls. The two Community youth Leaders in charge of sessions here are 20-year-old Rinku and 21-year-old Aftab.
At age 13, Chotu is a role model for the younger children in his community.
His is a family of five, where both parents work. Chotu was extremely abusive and would often get into fights. He was also very unhygienic and would not even bathe regularly. His attendance at school was irregular as he was disinterested in studies.
When Magic Bus started the programme in his locality, Chotu was one of the few children who showed interest in the sessions. He wanted to join the programme but his parents were skeptical.
After attending the sessions regularly for just a few weeks, Chotu’s behaviour started changing. His parents noticed that he was paying extra attention to hygiene. He also started attending school regularly.
But the most noticeable change, they say, was in how he started talking to others. He is respectful and polite. He has also taken up a lot more responsibility. He’s taken it upon himself to educate members of his community about the importance of gender equality.
Gender bias in the community is very high. The community has very strict rules against girls and boys playing together. This was the major obstacle that the staff faced during the initiation. But regular meetings were held with parents, and they’ve slowly opened up to the idea of educating their daughters and letting them play. Interaction between the two genders is still limited, but the situation has improved considerably.
There was very low awareness about health and hygiene in the community. The Magic Bus team worked towards changing this and conducted meetings with parents, asking their help to clean up the neighbourhood. This proved to be effective as many parents participated and helped clean up parts of the neighbourhood.
Sport for Development sessions last for two hours each and are conducted in three stages:
(Photographs from Magic Bus areas of operation are used for representation only.)