With a population of 50,000 people, Rajeev Nagar is a large slum cluster located in the northern part of Delhi.
Like most other slum clusters, poverty is a glaring feature of this community. Resources are inadequate and the number of people more - making the region prone to a number of serious problems. Drop outs and awareness on schooling and importance of education is low. Most residents are into daily wage work and feel that their children will follow suit.
Magic Bus' programme was initiated in 2014. At present, 200 children are a part of the programme and also of the transformation that is being gradually ushered into this community.
Fourteen year old Rajda is in 9th Std. She joined the Magic Bus programme in 2013. Both her parents are unschooled and work as labourers in the nearby factories. Rajda is the eldest amongst 3 siblings. The family survives on a meagre income of Rs. 6000 per month.
Initially when she joined Magic Bus, Rajda was a very shy child. She would hardly show any interest during the sessions and sometimes even missed them. This came to the attention of the Magic Bus volunteer, Ajimuddin and the Magic Bus staff in charge, Rashid. Both of them met her parents to try and convince them to encourage Rajda to attend the Magic Bus sessions regularly. With regular follow ups, Rashida started coming to the sessions more often.
Ajimuddin tried to slowly persuade her to take part in the activities during the sessions. Other children also encouraged her to be a part of the group in whatever way she wanted. Simple gestures of affection and warmth and encouragement by the team and children worked for her and over a period of time, her hesitation melted away. This way, she became more self-confident and aware.
She now feels that the biggest thing Magic Bus has made her achieve is her resilience. She now takes part in all the Magic Bus sessions and has also started paying more attention to her education.
A few of the areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors include:
Sessions are divided into 3 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.