Sant Nagar is a 30 year old community in Burari located in North Delhi comprising of 1100 households and a population of about 5000. Being one of the many urban slums in Delhi, this community too struggles with the issue of a dense population inhabiting a small piece of land. This leads to crunched resources in a place where even the basic amenities are not available.
Magic Bus too faced a similar problem when we wanted to conduct Sport for Development sessions in the community but could not find a suitable playground to do so. The only playground available had become a dumping ground full of household waste, filled with cows and dogs scavenging for food. But with the support of the parents and the children, the ground was gradually cleaned of all waste and made suitable for children to play. Today we see women coming there for their evening stroll and the children have a splendid time playing their heart out.
11-year-old Pooja joined Magic Bus an year back and its hard to believe how a child can transform so drastically in a short span of time. This 4th standard student of the primary school in Sant Nagar had problems getting along with fellow children. During her first few months with Magic Bus, she would give her CYL (Community youth Leader) and even her YM (Youth Mentor) a hard time. She would often lose her temper and often fight with other children. She would disrupt sporting activities by snatching the sports equipment and would simply not allow the other children to play. The biggest challenge was to keep Pooja calm. However her YM, Meera noticed a startling quality in Pooja. She was always very regular and punctual for the sessions. She would report to the ground even before her CYL would. Her parents too were very keen on sending her for the sessions and did not want to pull her out. It was then that Meera decided to give her individual attention.
Meera played a significant role in slowly transforming Pooja. She would always keep her patience when dealing with her and lovingly tried to make her gel with others children during activities. Other children too gradually warmed towards her, encouraging her to participate. Our Sport for Development sessions on Socio-emotional learning helped Pooja become a team player and understand the importance of respecting others. Today Pooja readily mingles with children and does not get into fights. Her parents too see a huge change in her as she now talks more politely and obeys them.
A few of the areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors include:
Sessions are divided into 3 parts:
(Photographs from Magic Bus areas of intervention are used for representation only.)