Kamanpally, in Mahadevpur Mandal (Karimnagar District) within Andhra Pradesh, is home to 210 families; each family has 5 members on average. The community is primarily involved in agriculture with rice, cotton and nuts as the major crops grown. In seasons when rain is abundant and they are in luck, they manage to grow two crops a year. The entire family, including children, is involved in agricultural labour and related work. This work, however, is seasonal. Despite a government ruling setting the minimum wage at INR 120 a day, the people in this community earn only INR 100 a day on average.
Communities from Scheduled Castes, Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs is a collective term, used by the Government of India, for castes which are educationally and socially disadvantaged - the government is enjoined to ensure their social and educational development) live together in Kamanpally. Some of the prominent ones include Maadiga and Maala (SC), Mudhiraj, Goud and Kammari (BC) and Reddy (OC).
The sanitation conditions in the village are extremely poor. Very few houses (pucca and semi-pucca mostly) have access to a toilet and the drainage system is virtually non-existent. The drinking water is supplied by Panchayat bore wells. The primary health centre is 2 km away from the village. Kamanpally has one government primary school.
The common problems of the village are mostly educational and hygiene-related in nature. The number of drop-outs and irregularities in the village were high prior to the Magic Bus intervention. In 2010, there was a breakout of Chikungunya and Dengue fever in the village and a majority of the village was affected.
Magic Bus’ operations started in September 2010 in Kamanpally with 60 children and 2 Community Youth Leaders (CYLs) Balaiah and Venket Reddy. The village, after the initial phase of cynicism and inhibitions, eventually became very supportive of Magic Bus after plenty of persuasion by the youth leaders. The local leaders and the Panchayat have come forward and supported the programme, too.
Off the training field, we supplement our activities by working with the communities our children come from. Besides regular meetings with children and parents, we hold rallies, cleanliness drives and community-wide sporting events aimed at empowering and strengthening these communities.
Magic Bus operations have led to a positive change in the communities in Kamanpally. Some of these have been reflected in the form of:
A typical Magic Bus session lasts for 2 hours and is divided into 3 parts: