Jasola village located in south Delhi is home to 780 households which homes about 2200 residents. 550 children, mostly between 7-14 years of age reside in the community. 30% of houses in the community are semi-pukka, the remaining are well-built houses. The community has three government schools and a primary healthcare centre.
The residents of the community are daily-wage labourers who work as plumbers, rickshaw-pullers, watchmen. Women mostly work as maids.
Living in a community which is marred by petty crimes is not easy. Children often take to offensive habits and inculcate them in their behaviour. Such was the predicament of 18-year-old Rahul. “Growing up in Jasola has prepared me for the worst. It is a harsh community to grow up in”, he narrates.
3 years ago Magic Bus began its intervention in Jasola. As expected, the community offered stiff resistance to the efforts. Youth Mentor Surender and Training and Monitoring Officer Mukesh were involved in a constant tussle with the community. After plenty of deliberations with the residents, the parents agreed to send their children for the sessions in return of adequate safety measures for them.
Rahul was a tough nut to crack. He was abusive and coarse in his approach. He often reprimanded Surender for organizing community sessions in his locality. He would repeatedly disrupt the ongoing sessions and distract the children participating in the programme.
Both Mukesh and Surender were fed up of Rahul’s constant interruptions. They decided to soften him and involve him in the programme. Surender organized regular counseling sessions for Rahul. Initially, it was difficult for Rahul to understand the relevance, but eventually, he got a hang of it.
Rahul realised how unnecessary his antics were and how pertinent Magic Bus curriculum was for him and his community. Rahul now helps Surender and Mukesh mobilize greater chunk of Jasola.
He also gives cricket coaching to young children in the programme.
Magic Bus sports-for-development sessions at Jasola Village are held on every Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 3.00pm and 5.00 pm.
Sessions are structured in the following manner:
• 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 operations and are used for representation only.