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Shengaon

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Magic Bus Overview

Magic Bus works with some of the world’s poorest children and young people, taking them from a childhood full of challenges to a life with meaningful livelihoods. We equip young people with the skills and knowledge they need to grow up and move out of poverty.

Children on the Magic Bus Programme complete school, and go on to enroll in vocational institutes or colleges. They successfully fend off destabilizers such as child marriage and child labour and become first-generation salary earners. Our participants complete their education and have secure careers.

The below report is a representative of the impact in the Magic Bus Programme in Chandrapur, where the communities are located.

About Chandrapur District

Shengaon is a village in Chandrapur Taluka in the district of the same name in Maharashtra, India. It belongs to the Vidarbha region, a region that has recently been in the news for the high number of farmer suicides here. It is 799 kilometres from the State Capital, Mumbai.
Shengaon has 375 households and a total population of 1872 – 899 male and 883 female. Most residents are from the ST and OBC (Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Caste) communities. Farming is one of the main economic activities. Besides this, many people work in the coalmines nearby as well as in other industries. Those with a beginner's level education work in the service sector in nearby towns.

The village has a Zila Parishad Primary School. For further studies, children go to Chandrapur city, which is just 2 kilometers from Shengaon.

Programme Inputs

For a girl who had grown up in the narrow social confines of Shengaon village, Savita's dreams had always been way bigger than any of her peers. She dreamt of becoming a Police Officer.

Savita joined as a Magic Bus Community Youth Leader at the behest of her friends. At the training (Magic Bus provides 120 compulsory hours of training for every community youth leader before putting her/him in front of children) Savita’s inherent strengths in leadership were brought to the fore. The training also threw into relief one of her persistent problems: stage fright. Savita's teachers and co-learners helped to gently bring her out of her comfort zone and start challenging herself. Within a few months of encouragement, her fear of public speaking was at an ebb.

Today Savita is not just back in studies as an undergraduate student, but actively looking for ways to make her career goals a reality. She is one of Magic Bus 8000-strong ground team a team of volunteers who deliver our programme to children. While doing so, they also hone and work on their own personal and career goals, creating a win-win situation for everyone: the children get a mentor who is from the same community as them so understands their realities better; and the mentors themselves use this opportunity to grow.

Faces of change

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