With a population of 2500 and 1200 households, Sinala is a small village community located in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. Agriculture is a major occupation here with a few residents having land of their own while the rest work as labourers on other's land. A primary and secondary school is located in the village. But, the nearest hospital is around 11 kms away in Durgapur town. Traveling to such a long distance, specially in times of an emergency, is often very difficult.
Magic Bus began its interventions in 2011 with 49 schoolchildren. At present, that number has risen to 59 children
The Panchayat or the village-governing body has been very supportive of the Magic Bus sessions. They have helped us get open grounds for community meetings and various tournaments.
Jeevan, 17, wishes to be a kabaddi player.
He came to us when he was only 13. He loved sports and played well. He used to go to school
regularly.But, he had acquired a bad habbit of chewing kharra, a form of tobacco. He would not listen to his parents when they asked him not to do so. In fact his mother requested the community youth leader to wean his son from this detestable habit.
Through a game of dodge ball, the community youth leader addressed the issue of addiction and substance abuse. He explained that it might seem ‘fancy’ at first, especially among peers, but it slowly erodes the health and well-being. Jeevan knew that if he had to build a career in sports he has to avoid having kharra.Even then, occasionally, he would chew kharra.
One day when he expressed his interest to be a community youth leader, the youth mentor drew him aside and spoke to him about the responsibilities he had to undertake if he wanted to become a leader. He had to stop having kharra altogether since it would not be a good
Jeevan dropped the habit completely. He recounts,'I know it was difficult for me to stop my habit but I did because Magic Bus bhaiya, trusted on me to stop it one day. Today, after becoming a youth leader I feel it is my duty to try to be a good person without vices otherwise the other children will not listen to me.'
Magic Bus sports-for-development sessions are held on Tuesdays every week between 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm.
The sessions are divided into the following:
• 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