Chora is a tiny village of about 438 households in the Bhadrawati Block of Chandrapur, Maharashtra. Though just 15 km from the nearest town, its inhabitants feel cut off because of bad roads leading up to and within the village. Those who can afford it live in brick homes while others make do in mud and daub structures or shacks made from leave and twigs, with barely any protection against Maharashtra’s harsh tropical climate. On average, a family of six to seven members reside in a 400-square-foot room.
Residents of Chora belong to disadvantaged communities such as Kunbi, Mahar, Gond, Madgi, and Other Backward Classes classified in the Indian Constitution. A majority of village’s residents work on their own fields, growing rice. Those who don’t own their own land, work as labourers on neighbouring farms. Water shortage in the area leads to minimisation of crop.
A Marathi-medium primary school imparts education to children up to Std 10. The nearest primary health centre (a free healthcare centre provided by the government) is 5 km away and is the only option in a medical emergency. An auxiliary nurse midwife visits the village once a week for free health check-ups.
Sport for Development sessions in Chora started in December 2011 with 50 children – 34 boys and 16 girls.
Avanti was 9 years old when she joined Magic Bus three years ago.
"I had no confidence before I joined Magic Bus. I could hardly have a conversation with anyone outside home", says Avanti, who is now 12 years old, and reads in the sixth standard.
Both Avanti's parents are daily wage labourers.
After joining the sessions, Avanti learnt to speak up, and raise questions. "It is not only about stepping outside their homes, in order to help them make effective use of the public space it is important to encourage them to speak and make their presence felt. This skill is then needed inside the household as well", says Avanti's mentor, Sangita.
Key messages delivered are within Magic Bus impact areas:
Magic Bus is also working with the community at large. In a parents’ meeting held in August 2012, topics such as the importance of education and the benefits of the Right to Education Act, 2009, were discussed. On June 27, 2013, we conducted an awareness rally to highlight the importance of formal education in a child's life.
Magic Bus sport-for-development sessions are organised from Monday though Friday, between 8.30 am and 10 am, and 4pm and 6pm.
These are divided into three parts:
Photographs are from Magic Bus areas of operation and have been used for representation only.