Golbhan is a small village in the Shahapur Taluka of Thane District, Maharashtra State. It belongs to the Konkan Division and is located 57kms towards the east from the district capital, Thane, and a mere 81kms from the State Capital, Mumbai.
This village is next to Umbarmali village and reachable by shared jeep from Khardi and Umbarmali railway station. Around 200 families stay in the village; most work in farming and farm-related work. The main challenge of living in Golbhan is the availability of clean drinking water especially in the region’s harsh summers. Schools, health centers and hospitals are also somewhat out of reach.
Magic Bus started working in the Golbhan village, Shahapur Taluka (Thane district, Maharashtra) in November 2012, with staff member Noornabee Shaikh leading the establishment of the work here. Noornabee worked very closely with the village elders and local youth to start the sport for development sessions for children from these villages. Over a period of time, he also won some key supporters, including the village head man and local school teachers.
Noornabee also succeeded in recruiting one community youth mentor, who works as a volunteer to actually deliver the Magic Bus curriculum on the ground. “The curriculum is based on the constructivist learning pedagogy which assumes that a learner can construct her/his own knowledge with the help of a More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) who can be both a teacher and/or peer/s,” says Gitanjali Singh, who heads Magic Bus’ curriculum development team.
The Golbhan programme currently reaches 50 children. Learning happens through a process of experience, reflection, application and consolidation. The use of a metaphor makes it easier for the child to connect the activity with their real life experiences and thus makes learning more relevant.
Activities are designed such that children are engaged in a manner that they imbibe the learning themselves rather than someone enforcing the learning outcomes on them.
The following key messages have been delivered so far:
• Going to school and paying attention to what is being taught in class is crucial if we want to complete our formal education. Finishing school is the first step towards having a career
• Courteous behavior is a much-valued social asset to cultivate. More is accomplished when we learn how to work with others and are tolerant towards our fellow citizens
• Abusive behavior is dysfunctional: we should do away with it
• Simple behavioural changes introduced early in life have far-reaching impact: one such habit is hand-washing. It keeps away a gamut of common ailments as well as potentially life threatening diseases such as cholera and typhoid
Magic Bus sessions here are 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