In Durgapur, almost 80 per cent of the households are Below the Poverty line.
Poverty underlines the every day life of residents here. The absence of basic necessities is a glaring manifestation of their disenfranchised state. Although access to school and health care services is relatively easy due to proximity to the local school and hospital, health-seeking behaviour or awareness about the importance of education is inadequate.
At present, there are 262 children in the Magic Bus programme.
12-year-old Poonam came across as the most silent person in her group. She would participate but not speak freely with others. At shool too, she was similarly silent.Children in her batch told us that they were not even aware that she studied with them.
In order to boost her confidence and help her overcome her hesitation, our Youth Mentor started encouraging her to speak up at the end of the sessions - she was asked to summarise the key takeaways as also present her own opinion. Initially, she would do so in a small voice. But with encouragement from her team, she started speaking up more freely.
During one of the drawing compeititions we organised in her community, we found out that Poonam had outstanding painting skills. When asked about this, she shared that she was also good in making clay statues.
Poonam's is one of our most talented girl in the sessions today. It is a cheerful sight to see her interacting with others - her words are measured yet meaningful.
A few of the areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors include:
Sessions are divided into 3 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.
(Photographs from Magic Bus areas of intervention are used for representation only.)