Shakur Basti is small slum area established close to the Railway line in the national capital, Delhi. Most of the residents are migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The predominant religious groups are Hindus and Muslims. Although most of the residents had migrated in search of livelihood, the available employment opportunities are not adequate for most. Lack of opportunities have demotivated the youth in this area resulting in their taking to substance abuse in large numbers.
12-year-old Dilip was not allowed to play. Dilip's family is one of the many disenfranchised families living in Shakurpur Basti. Both his parents struggled to make ends meet. While they would leave for work, little Dilip was left all on his own with strict instructions not to step out of his home.
This meant that Dilip could not go to school. Nor could he come out to play and attend our sessions in his locality.
Our Youth Mentor visited Dilip's parents during one of her community visits and came to know of Dilip's situation. She also noticed that Dilip was unkempt and looked like he didn't bathe regularly. Somehow, the Youth Mentor managed to convince his parents to send Dilip for the sessions. In return, she assured them that she would take care of Dilip during the time he was in the sessions.
Through the sessions, Dilip learnt several new lessons - things which his parents could never explain to him at home. For instance, the value of education and the merit of attending school regularly. He also picked up instructions on how to stay healthy and clean.
Gradually, the effect of attending these sessions began to show on Dilip. He started going to school regularly, he also took care of maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in his day-to-day activities. The changes in him has made his parents realise that Dilip is now all "grown up" and "able to take good care of himself".
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.)