Khyber Pass of Majnu Ka Tilla in the North-West Block of North-West Delhi District is a small resettlement community. This 30-year-old community is home to migrants from other states. Employment opportunities are limited and most men are engaged in manual, daily-wage labour. The women in this community support their families by working as domestic help. Many children work as rag pickers.
Risks of involvement in petty crime are abundant in this community and many young boys get involved by the time they enter their teens or even earlier.
Magic Bus initiated its Sport for Development programme in Khyber Pass in September 2011 with Youth Mentor (YM) Sudha and 30 children. This energetic young girl generated goodwill and interest in Magic Bus by organising games sessions such as feather-touch that involved the community.
The initial sessions introduced the community to Magic Bus and were received positively by the community. Many people had already felt the need to change things around them, especially regarding the rights, choices and participation in education, work and play of girls.
With 6 Community Youth Leaders (CYLs), Sudha brought more than 300 children in the age group of 7-15 years to the Magic Bus programme. Together, they have been conducting successful sessions that convey messages on the Right to Play, Gender, Health and Hygiene. All CYLs get 120 hours of training in a Sport for Development curriculum that has been designed and developed by Magic Bus.
The programme’s key achievements include: free vaccination of 125 children against Hepatitis B with the support of a local NGO partner, successful re-enrolment of 3 girls in formal education under a school admission campaign, producing street plays to promote education awareness in the community, winning tremendous support from the community through their participation in local events like tournaments, rallies and celebration of festivals, organising regular community visits and parent meetings.
12-year-old Rajan says, “I used to think like many other kids in the community. For example, we thought it was okay to marry as children. After attending Magic Bus sessions, I am a changed boy and I no longer see myself getting married at an early age”.
Magic Bus volunteers and mentors have delivered key messages and observed areas of behavior change that include:
The sessions at Khyber Pass of Majnu Ka Tilla last for two hours and are divided into three parts: