Nagala is a small rural hamlet with just 90 families in the Chandrapur Taluka, Chandrapur District, Maharashtra, India. It comes under Nagala Sub-Panchayat. The hamlet is just 2 kilometers west of the District head quarters of Chandrapur and 799 kilometers from the State Capital, Mumbai.
The community is primarily involved in agriculture. Entire families, including children, are involved in agricultural labour and related work. Work is available seasonally, and so it is difficult to make ends meet all round the year.
The communities Magic Bus works with in Nagala come from Scheduled Castes, Tribes and Other Backward Castes – traditionally, these communities are among the most vulnerable and marginalised in India. The housing condition of more than 60% of the families is very poor. Their houses are made of mud with roofs of twigs and dried leaves. The sanitation facilities are also extremely sub-optimal. Only a handful of the families have sanitation units.
Ajay is 13 years old and studies in the sixth standard of a local school. He started coming to Magic Bus sessions two years ago.
Ajay belongs to a family of five. His elder sisters have cleared the tenth standard. His parents are daily wage labourers. Even after long hours of tedious work, they managed to put together 3,500 INR.
In the initial days, Ajay defied any instruction given to him. He would regularly harass his teammates and disrupt sessions. In school too, he was equally disobedient and disrespectful towards his classmates and teachers. He did not pay any attention to his lessons and his grades suffered.
Through the Magic Bus sessions, his behaviour gradually changed for the better. He was forced to think of how he hurt the feelings of others by being disrespectful towards them. He wanted to be a football player. But, could he become a good sportsman if he didn't know how to play along with others instead of putting them down all the time?
Ajay has never missed any of our sessions. The change in his behaviour has helped him make friends. His teachers at school are happy about his grades as well.
A few of the areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors include:
Magic Bus sessions are held in the Nagala school on Wednesdays, every week, between 8.00 and 10.00 am.
These 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
Photographs from Magic Bus areas of intervention are used for representation only.