Borda is a village in the Chandrapur Taluka, in Chandrapur District, Maharashtra, India. The village falls in the Vidarbh region, that has been in the news for a large number of farmer suicides in recent times. The district headquarters, Chandrapur, is just 2 kilometers away, and the State Capital, Mumbai, is 799 kilometres away.
Borda has a total population of 1209: 633 male and 576 female. Of the 292 households here, 175 live in houses are made of concrete and the remaining live in mud-and-daub structures that offer minimal weather-proofing. About 30 households do not have sanitation units and are therefore forced to resort to open defecation.
194 households have a below poverty line (BPL) card. The total number of children is 177, of which 86 are boys and 91 girls.
Most residents earn a livelihood from farming and allied activities. Many of the young people work in the nearby factories and aspire for government jobs. There are two schools accessible to children growing up in Borda: a Zilla Parishad Upper Primary School and a Girls Ashram School.
Two issues that are most entrenched in this village are alcoholism and the sanitation problem. Alcohol is easily and cheaply available, something that makes it simple to get addicted.
13 years old Adarsh Bandu Chatare studies in the 6th Standard. His family of 5 subsists on just about Rs. 3000 per day, a fairly typical income bracket for most families in Borda.
When Adarsh suddenly lost his father, the family had to pull him out of school and take his help in earning a bit to put food on the table. His Magic Bus mentor, Anju, worked with Adarsh's family to create a coping mechanism that wouldn't compromise on his right to and education. It took many months of counselling, but Adarsh is back in school now. His mother now has a job as a helper at the local Anganwadi, a job that helps the family a little bit.
"I want to grow up to be a policeman," Adarsh says. "I wouldn't want any child that I will have when I grow up to face any of the challenges that I have faced. I would like to give my family a more stable and secure life."
97 children are part of the programme at Borda, of which 54 are boys and 43 are girls.
We are sharing another story by way of the anecdotal evidence of the impact created in this village:
11-year-old Rakhi finishes school and runs straight to the play ground. Playing with others is her passion. As most of the villages, Borda is fairly conservative when it comes to educating girls and sending them out to play. But Rakhi isn't good with conformity, she loves to be out there, active, equal to any boy.
Her parents were not really approving of their daughter’s outgoing nature. They work as daily wage labourers in a farm earning a paltry sum of Rs. 200 each daily. What with this daily struggle for earnings, there's very little mind space to attend to their daughter's need for care.
Three years ago, when Priyanka, Training and Monitoring Officer, Magic Bus, did a survey of the village, she was impressed by Rakhi’s outspoken nature. Priyanka interacted with her parents and immediately enrolled her in Magic Bus.
“Rakhi was a livewire on the ground, however, her parents complained about her lack of concentration and interest in studies. We had to devise a strategy to improve her concentration levels”, shares Priyanka.
In the next few sessions, Priyanka and the Community Youth Leader appointed Rakhi as the leader of a team activity. Rakhi had to work hard at creating a plan so that her team wins. “This was the first time in months when I had seen Rakhi sit in one place and concentrate. It was an achievement for us”, adds Priyanka.
Rakhi’s team went on to win the activity and so did Priyanka’s strategy.
Rakhi now tries to balance studies with play. She wants to grow up to become a Magic Bus Community Youth Leader..
Magic Bus sport-for-development sessions are held on Thursdays every week between 4.00 and 6.00pm. The sessions are structured around the following:
• 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 are from Magic Bus areas of operation and are used for representation only.)