Old Daheli (referred to as Juni Daheli in the local language) is a village of about 270 households with a population of around 1527 people. It has around 142 children having age group 3-14 years in the Ballarpur block of Chandrapur,Maharashtra. Although located at a distance of 10 kms from the Ballarpur, the inhabitants still feel cut off due to bad roads. Poor access to livelihoods decides the kind of housing people have
Most of the residents are agricultural labourers; some work in bamboo factories nearby.
Employment is seasonal: those who work as agricultural labourers get work for just six months during the planting and harvesting season.
There is a government school with classes till the fourth standard nearby.Children wishing to continue afterwards have to travel 6kms to reach the private school.
Magic Bus began working in this area in February 2011 with 50 children including 25 girls and 25 boys. Today, we have 100 children attending the sessions here.
One of the several myths that get busted during Magic Bus sessions is the fact that boys are stronger than girls and therefore, better in sports.
When 12-year-old Komal joined us three years ago, she was afraid of playing with boys. Therefore, she would always stand by whenever boys were to be a part of the game. One day the community youth leader asked each child to come forth and facilitate one activity. Komal was nervous because now she had to include the boys in her activity too.
Finally, when her turn came, she surprised everyone in her team. The usually silent and taciturn girl had suddenly become funny and full of energy. After her song-and-dance routine, everyone broke out into applause and started congratulating her.
The adulation didn’t come from the girls alone; even the boys told her how good she was. That’s when she shared that she thought playing with boys would ‘hurt’ her since they are ‘stronger’. This belief was proved wrong after she started participating in the games.
At present, she is comfortable interacting with boys and believes that boys and girls are at par with each other.
Magic Bus' sports-for-development sessions are held on Wednesdays every week between 8.00 and 10.00am.
The sessions are divided into the following three parts: