Narapureddykunta is a village in Bandiatmakur mandal within the Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh, a state in the South Eastern coast of India. The village has 64 households, spread over an area of 8 acres of land. The major communities in the village are Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes followed by other, economically backward communities. The total population of the village is 202, which includes 105 males and 97 females. The main occupation of the people is agriculture and preparation and sale of country liquor.
Narapureddykunta is considered as one of Magic Bus’ model sites. It is a village located in an interior (remote) area, which has constituted a village-level sports committee with 7 members, plus one male and one female mentor. It has at least a 75% attendance level, a safe playground and an endorsement given by the village elders and community.
Magic Bus started work in the village in January 2011, with two community youth leaders Harikrishna and Shalini, working with 60 children, out of which 23 are girls and the rest, boys. The sessions are conducted regularly on Sundays, during the evening hours. The current coverage stands at 57 children (48% boys and 52% girls), girl children participation has increased from 38% to 52% within a period of the last 20 months.
The local youth mentor, Saraswathi, with the support of Magic Bus’ staff and volunteers, have organized 10 meetings wherein the parents were sensitized on the importance of education for children, especially girl children, importance of School Management Committees (read the endnote on why these are important), and awareness was given on seasonal diseases such as malaria and dengue. There were four collective meetings with women’s groups to sensitise them on the importance of girl child education, health awareness on anaemia, nutrition etc. Local meetings were conducted with the young people in the area to take support in gathering children for sessions, to sensitise on the importance of compulsory education, and to support in playfield development etc.
Competitions were held for children in Narapureddykunta, including an essay writing competition, a drawing competition, a debate, a quiz and a singing event on occasion of Children’s Day, which is celebrated on 14th November in India. The event does one very important thing, it builds visibility for children’s rights (read the endnote on children’s rights).
Another significant update is that all 57 children on the programme have received a pair of TOMS shoes. These shoes were sourced under a very large shoe grant directly from the donor. Parents, the community and children were happy and have written appreciation letters to Magic Bus.
Local girl mentor Shalini has made a personal step forward: “Earlier I would hesitate to work with boys, now I can work with anyone, regardless of their gender,” she says.
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