Kasara is a railway junction on central railway line, towards the city of Nasik. It falls in the Shahapur Taluka (Thane district, Maharashtra) The village is large enough to look like a small town. About 6000 households call Kasara home. At just 90 kilometres from District Headquarters of Thane, and 116 kilometres from the State capital of Mumbai, residents are more or less exposed to the urban ways of life.
Locals report no special problems on basics such as access to drinking water, or toilets. Kasara has one primary and one secondary school, plus a primary healthcare sub-centre to take care of minor ailments. The main problem for villagers is that of unemployment.
Magic Bus started work in Kasara village in the November 2012, with Noornabee Shaikh as the Magic Bus staff-in-charge, helping the work to take off. After his training, Noornabee organised an orientation session for others to sensitise them on the possible uses of the Magic Bus approach and the sport for development curriculum. The orientation was a great platform to share how the Magic Bus programme can be part of young people's personal growth and development. He succeed in convincing a couple of young people to volunteer to deliver the programme on the ground. These volunteers were given 120 hours of training to become community youth leaders and start the sport for development sessions for children from their own villages. Over a period of time, he also won some other key supporters, including the village headman, the school principal, and the Anganwadi (government-sponsored nursery) workers.
In Kasara, our work reaches two groups, or a total of 100 children. Four Community Youth Leaders (CYLs), all girls, lead the sessions and have set a great example for younger girls. They are the first girls to take on public work of any sort from their families and report a great pride in wearing their Magic Bus uniforms and stepping out. "It gives them a sense of achievement," says Norrnabee, "And also it helps reach our objectives around gender equity.
Magic Bus sessions here are divided into 3 parts: