Pirli is a village in Bhadravati Taluka in the Chandrapur District of Maharashtra, India. As part of the Vidarbh region, Pirli showcases the agrarian crisis sweeping through this part of the country.
The district headquarters, Chandrapur, is 39 kilometres away, and 785 kilometres from India’s commercial Capital, Mumbai. The village is in the border of the Chandrapur District and Yavatmal Districts.
Pirli has a total population of 1072 – 543 male and 529 female. The villagers are, by and large from the Other Backward Caste (OBC); a few households are from Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities. Agriculture is their major source of income. When there is no work on the farms villagers take up petty jobs. Those with small farmlands or no land, work as daily wage labourers.
More than half of the families here live in kuchcha houses, made of mud-and-daub. Less than half have toilets in their homes. An ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) visits the village once a week, to take care of basic health advice, but for any serious medical problems the residents have to go to another town. The village has a Zila Parishad Upper Primary School but doesn’t have a secondary school.
Magic Bus has been in operation in this community since 2012. At present, we are impacting the lives of 110 children from this community.
11-year-old Abhay comes from a family of four. His father is a daily wage labourer with an income that is not enough to even provide for the basic needs of the family. His mother is a home-maker.Abhay's elder brother, aged 14, studies in the eigth standard at a local school.
When Abhay started coming for Magic Bus sessions, he was inordinately demure. He would not participate in the Sit-Breathe-Think sessions at the end of a game because he was afarid of being asked a question. He was scared of speaking in public.
As the sessions progressed, Youth Mentor, Sangita, noticed Abhay's reticence and started giving him major responsibilities during the sessions. The structure of mixed gender groups during the sessions worked in easing out Abhay's fears, and made him a lot more interactive.
Today, Abhay is much more forthcoming and unafraid. He raises and anaswers questions and even participates in discussions without any hesitation or fear.
A few of the areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors include:
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