Surya Vihar is in the south-west region of Delhi and is located near Gyarsi Kothi of Haryana.
It is an unauthorised colony with pukka as well as kuchha houses. While some houses, although not properly built, have attached toilets, people living in jhuggis (houses with thatched roofs) still defecate in the open. There is no proper drainage system and the open sewers overflow, causing sanitation and health issues.
Water is supplied through tankers that visit this colony once a day.
Most of the residents of this locality are Hindus. Most residents work as labourers. The literacy rate is very low, and there are many cases of alcohol and drug dependency. Many children in this community are involved in rag picking. The average monthly income of a family is not sufficient to sustain the household.
The Magic Bus programme was launched in this area in October 2013. Currently, 200 children attend the sessions. Of these, around 160 are boys and the rest are girls. The sessions are conducted by Vijay Chaudhary, the Youth Mentor in charge of the area.
Recently, a football tournament for boys was organised in the community. Basic necessities such as water and food were provided by leaders representing the community. Winners of the tournament were given TOMS shoes. Such tournaments give a certain amount of exposure to the children and help open up the opportunities present in the environment.
11-year-old Prince studies in the sixth standard in a local school. His father is a gardener and mother, a home-maker.
Speaking about his journey with Magic Bus, Prince shares his experience:
"Before joining the Magic Bus, I used to abuse. People used to hate me for this. But, ever since I have joined Magic Bus and found out how this hurts others, I have tried to change my behaviour. I have been successful because of consistent support from my peers and Vijay bhaiya [Vijay is our Youth Mentor in this area]. Earlier, I did not go to school regularly. I didn’t know what I would gain out of going to school or even paying attention to my lessons. During one Magic Bus session, when bhaiya told me about the advantages of going to school and getting educated, I was surprised. I have not missed school ever since.”
Sport for Development sessions are held from 8am to 10am and from 4pm to 6pm on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Sessions are divided into three parts:
(Photographs from Magic Bus areas of operation are used for representation only.)