Imagine a childhood without play! A struggle, right? Such was the case at Appur, a community comprising of 350 households in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
"There was only one open area but it was littered with stones and thorns. Kids would play but they would get hurt too. No one cared", says Barathi, our Magic Bus Community Youth Leader (CYL). "We are a deprived community. We do not have access to primary health care centres, electricity, or proper government schools. Lack of a space to play was one among the many deprivations we faced. The only problem was, no one recognised it as a problem ", recalls Barathi.
Seven months ago when Magic Bus came to their community, the lack of play spaces made it extremely difficult for them to conduct sessions.
It was then that the community, led by Barathi and a few other Youth Mentors and Community Youth Leaders, took up the initiative to clean up the only space they had access to. "At present, regular sessions are held here. Children come and play. It's like a new lease of life for them". The cleaning initiative also helped Barathi realise a hidden leadership potential. "He is now a role model for the other CYLs and children", says Yesudass, Training and Monitoring Officer (TMO) with Magic Bus' Tamil Nadu programme.
Every child has a right to a little piece of clean, green earth.
We, at Magic Bus, firmly believe in this and strive to build clean, safe, and free spaces for underprivileged children. We have ensured that 2546 playgrounds across the country are clean and accessible for all.