With a population of 791 people, Lingam Dinne (Mala) compound is a slum cluster in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Most of the inhabitants belong to the Mala social group which is enlisted as a Scheduled Caste. Residents speak in Telugu and are followers of Christianity. 160 out of 178 households in this community fall below the poverty line.
Most of the residents are either agricultural labourers or wage workers in construction sites and brick kilns. Availability of health and educational institutions do not pose a problem for the residents. What comes in the way of accessing them is rampant child labour and alcoholism among the youth in this community. The latter is partly related to the lack of livelihood opportunities for the youth living here.
As far as child labour and dropouts are concerned, most parents prefer taking their children along to their workplaces. This results in a higher percentage of dropouts and an early introduction to an exploitative wage market.
Since, Magic Bus began its work in this area in 2011, there have been positive changes in the behaviour of the youth as well as in the awareness about education among the parents which, in turn, has reduced the dropouts among children. At present, Magic Bus is working with 57 children out of which 31 are boys and 26 are girls.
Engaging with families where children accompany their parents to work is a challenging process. Months of one-on-one engagement along with awareness rallies on addiction and importance of education have been some of the approaches that worked in bringing about a change in the behaviour of our stakeholders in the community.
A few of the areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors include:
• Importance of personal and environmental hygiene
• Equal treatment of boys and girls
• Importance of education
• Respect for elders
Sessions are held once every week on Sundays between 9.30 and 11.30am.
Magic Bus Sessions here are divided into three broad 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.
Photographs from Magic Bus areas of operation are used for representation only.