Yerraguntla in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh is home to a population of 7,139 people.
The households in this area are mostly mud-and-daub structures or what is known as kuchcha houses in India. 92 percent of the 1739 households in this area lie below the poverty line. Residents speak Telugu. A majority of people settled here belong to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) group, Boya.
Residents work as agricultural labourers or as fruit vendors in roadside stalls and carts. Alcoholism is rampant with adults sending their children to local liquor shops to procure alcohol. Magic Bus has been working with parents to help them foresee the risk of alcoholism and exposing their children to such an environment so early on in life.
Getting the community and its different factions to agree with each other, come together, and ensure a safe childhood for children has been a steep struggle. It is often difficult to get the entire community to perceive the problems in some of its deeply-rooted beliefs, for instance, the early marriage of girls. With Magic Bus intervention, the community is gradually supporting its girls’ education although much needs to be done to ensure that all girls in this community get an opportunity to go to school.
At present, there are 196 children in our programme from this community
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 thrice every week on Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays.
On Sundays, sessions are scheduled between 4.00pm and 5.30pm, 5.00pm and 6.30pm in the evening, and between 8.00am and 9.30am in the morning. On Saturdays, sessions are held between 3.30pm and 5.00pm in the evening. On Tuesdays, sessions are scheduled between 4.00pm and 5.30pm in the evenings.
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.