Khardi village is located in Shahapur block within the Thane district, about 18 kms from Shahapur. The state capital, Mumbai, is 98 kms away.
350 families call Khardi home. Most are farmers, although some people do work in the Kalyan industrial area which is not far.
Magic Bus started work in Khardi village in November 2012 under the guidance of staff members Vicky Singh and Noornabee Shaikh. Sessions are conducted every Wednesday, in the late afternoons.
At present we are reaching around 70 children with the help of 3 Community Youth Leaders – the volunteer mentors who come from the same village. “Magic Bus’ approach of using in-situ volunteers is the main reason why we are able to quickly expand our work,” says Devdutta Deshpande, who leads the Maharashtra programme. “Launching a Magic Bus programme does not need large resources. Using local volunteers is a critical element also because it builds local commitment and leadership, facilitates a wider community engagement and ultimately extends the work.”
The local volunteers have received formal training from Magic Bus in how to work with children’s groups, and be facilitators for the sport for development curriculum that Magic Bus has developed over the last 15 years of its existence.
The following key messages have been delivered so far:
• There are simple safety and hygiene practices that keep you safe from injury and common ailments. One such practice would be to us proper footwear while playing. Another such practice is washing hands before eating.
• Cleanliness is one habit with multiple benefits. It keeps diseases at bay, it prepares you for an entry into a slightly better category of jobs when one is grown up. It is a socially desirable habit and early adopters will draw countless benefits.
• Attending school is a must-do if you want to build your present as well as your future
• Using abusive language is a thoughtless way to make enemies and lose friends! Being courteous goes a long way into building relationships with fellow beings.
Magic Bus sessions here are conducted weekly and are divided into three 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