Voddugandla is home to a population of 662 persons distributed across 149 households.
Mostly from the Other Backward Classes (Eediga), residents speak Telugu and practise Hinduism. A majority of households fall below the poverty line. Most of the families have their own land and are farmers.
Magic Bus began working in Voddugandla in 2011. Some of the challenges we faced while trying to mobilise the community to bring more children to our sessions were related to the restrictive attitude towards women and girls from participating in public life. Therefore, getting girls to the sessions were difficult. Even the turnout of women in parents’ meetings was a cause for concern.
At present, 119 children are a part of the Magic Bus programme in this area.
Alcoholism is a common problem in this community. This makes public spaces unsafe for children and women, restricting their access. Inadequate drainage and low awareness on sanitation are other problems that our programme has been addressing in this area.
Through awareness meetings on alcoholism and sanitation, parents’ tournaments that would motivate women to participate in activities in the public space, and regular Sport for Development sessions, we have been able to surmount some of the problems but there remains much to be done in this regard.
A few of the areas of behaviour change addressed by Magic Bus volunteers and mentors include:
• Importance of personal and environmental hygiene
• Equal treatment of boys and girls
• Importance of education
• Respect for elders
Sessions are held twice every week: On Sundays, between 9.00 to 11.00 am, and on Tuesdays from 4.00 to 6.00pm.
Magic Bus Sessions here are divided into three broad 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 operation are used for representation only.