Saddam colony is a slum cluster at Allagada in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. Its population stands at 778 persons. Residents speak a mixture of Urdu and Telugu. A majority of them practise Islam. Almost 95 percent of the households in this community lie below the poverty line.
Residents are either involved in vegetable vending or hawking. A few of them are also employed as agricultural labourers. Magic Bus began working in this community since 2011. Despite winning the community’s trust, parents’ have continued to show resistance about the participation of girls in mixed gender sessions. The team has been working on overcoming this resistance through regular awareness meetings on equal rights and opportunities for both boys and girls in the community.
At present, there are 52 children in the programme out of which there are 30 girls and 22 boys. The larger number of girls in the programme indicates that our intervention in changing community beliefs about the participation of girls in public spaces is proving successful.
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 once every week on Sundays between 9.30 and 11.00pm
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.