Dayalpur is located in the Khajuri region of North Delhi, near Bhajanpura. The settlement is spread over 1,000 square yards, with temporary structures. On average, 10x12 feet rooms house eight people.
The area does not have proper drainage system, forcing some sections of the population resort to open defecation. This is a huge public health hazard and stomach bugs and skin infections are common in the area.
The maximum number of families here are Muslims [14.6% of Indians are Muslim, and are 177 million in number]. According to a recent Economist article, “The Sachar report broadly showed Muslims to be stuck at the bottom of almost every economic or social heap. Though heavily urban, Muslims had a particularly low share of public (or any formal) jobs, school and university places, and seats in politics. They earned less than other groups, were more excluded from banks and other finance, spent fewer years in school and had lower literacy rates. Pitifully few entered the army or the police force.”
In keeping with the observations in the article, residents of Dayalpur too are daily-wage labourers, butchers, tailors or have small biryani shops – the bottom rankers in Delhi’s income pyramid.
Magic Bus started operations in Dayalpur in January 2011, and around 50 children attend the Magic Bus sessions here. Twenty out of 50 children attending are girls. The Training and Monitoring Officer of Dayalpur is Avinash and the Youth Mentor is Barkat. Two Community Youth Leaders – both girls – assist the Youth Mentor during sessions.
Magic Bus organises parent meetings once every two months. Refresher training courses are organised for the Community Youth Leaders on a regular basis. Recently, a football tournament for children took place and was a huge success.
A few of the areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors include:
• Importance of personal and environmental hygiene
• Equal treatment of boys and girls
• Importance of education
• Respect for elders
Magic Bus sessions are held every Sunday from 4pm to 6pm and are divided into three parts:
• 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