Sivareddipalli of Doma Mandal in the Ranga Reddy District of Andhra Pradesh is a village with 400 families. Each family has five members on an average. The community is primarily involved in agriculture of maize and paddy. The entire family, including children, is involved in agricultural labour and related work. Howevr, this work is seasonal and mostly yields crops during the monsoons. Despite a government ruling that has sett a minimum wage limit at INR 120, the women here earn only INR 100 on an average day, while the men earn on average INR 150. On rare occasion in the summer season, the government assigns more work to women so that men and women can earn an equal daily pay of INR 120. The average monthly income of a family is INR 5,000 - 6,000.
The village community is largely made up of Scheduled Castes, Tribes and Other Backward Classes. Some of the prominent ones include Maadiga and Maala (SC), Mudhiraj, Gouda, Chakali, Mangali and Kummari (BC), Reddy, Muslim, Komata and Balija (OC) (OBCs is a collective term used by the Government of India for castes which are educationally and socially disadvantaged; through policies, the government is ensuring their social and educational development).
Sanitation conditions in the village are a big issue here. Only 1 in 10 houses have access to a toilet. Water is supplied by the Panchayat water tanks. Sivareddipalli has one primary government school.
Magic Bus operations started in October 2011 in Sivareddipalli with 40 children. Community Youth Leaders (CYLs) Mallesh and Yadhagiri were able to win the support of local leaders and the Panchayat. This kind of support is key in ensuring the longevity of the work here.
Mamatha, who is a regular at the Magic Bus sessions in the village, says, “I really enjoy the sessions a lot and learn new things every time.”
22-year-old Community Youth Leader Mallesh says, “I enjoy conducting the sessions and love to give my time to the children. Because of this opportunity, I have gained the recognition and respect of fellow members of my village.”
A village elder Mr. Pentatiah says, “We are very impressed with Magic Bus. They have brought about awareness on many sport and health-related issues and I have really seen a positive change in the children of the village.”
Magic Bus interventions have led to a positive change in the Sivareddipalli community. Some of these include:
A typical Magic Bus session in Sivareddipalli lasts for two hours and is 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
Off of the training field, we supplement our activities by working with the communities that our children come from. Besides regular meetings with children and parents, we hold rallies, hygiene drives and community-wide sporting events aimed at empowering and strengthening these communities.