Nimbala, in Bhadrawati Block, Chandrapur District, is a small village with around 100 families of 3-4 members each mostly Scheduled Tribe (ST).
Most of the population in the village is engaged in agriculture and agriculture-related activities, or manual, daily-wage labour. Some of the men also work in various small and medium-sized factories located in the nearby town of Thane.
Nimbala has basic infrastructure in place. There is a primary and a secondary school, which is attended by most of the children; a primary health centre run by the government addresses all minor medical emergencies of the villagers and people have access to clean drinking water.
The Magic Bus programme has been operational in Nimbala since 2010. Kunal Dhnyaneshwar Buratkar is one of the 45 children who are part of the programme.
Kunal is 13 years old and studies in Std VII. His mother and father have studied till Std XII and X respectively and work as daily wage labourers. The family earns INR 1,000 a month.
When Kunal joined the Magic Bus programme, he was 9 years old and not interested in studying. He had not enrolled in school and preferred playing with his friends, a vagabond of the village. The team ensured that he participated in group sessions regularly and, through various games and discussions, began encouraging him to start attending school. His mentor, Meherunnisa Sheikh, made special efforts to help Kunal recognise the benefits of education and how it would help him build a better future for himself.
The team’s efforts paid off when Kunal agreed to join school – once he began studies, he enjoyed it. He is now determined to complete his education and become a doctor.
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
Magic Bus sport-for-development sessions are held on Mondays every week from 4.00 to 6.00 pm.
The sessions are structured in the following way:
Photographs are from Magic Bus areas of operation and are used for representation only.