Ghonad is a small community of 150 households located in Chandrapur district of the Indian state of Maharashtra. Marathi is the predominant language and Hinduism and Buddhism the dominant religion.While the community is well connected to school, college, and health care services, their biggest problem is the lack of access to water.
Most residents are either farmers or agricultural labourers.
13-year-old Rohan studies in the eighth standard in a local school. Both his parents are agricultural labourers with an income lesser than 4000 INR per month.
One year ago, when Rohan showed up in our sessions Youth Mentor Mehrunissa noticed that he suffered from an attention deficit. "He was very energetic but irritable. He did not pay attention to any instructions during the session", Mehrunissa recalls.
Speaking with his teacher revealed that Rohan would ususally not come for classes. When he did, he would not pay attention and was well known for his notoriety.
Mehrunissa understood that if Rohan sat through even three of the sessions, there would be some change in his behaviour. Rohan was attracted to the games and would turn up during the sessions. Mehrunissa started encouraging him to come on time, telling him that if her didn't he would miss out of all the fun the rest of the group had.
Gradually, Rohan started understanding the messages during the game. He understood the importance of education and schooling. It took him a longer time to focus on his lessons but the more he grew disciplined in the field, the more teachers started noticing a distinct improvement in his attentiveness during lessons.
"I was really pleased to hear that Rohan has started attending classes regularly. His teachers were also impressed about the distinct improvement in his behaviour during lessons, as well. It goes on to prove how effective sports as a medium can be in bringing about behaviour change", she signs off.
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.)