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Now, Girls Play With Boys | A BMW-Magic Bus Partnership Story
Now, Girls Play With Boys | A BMW-Magic Bus Partnership Story

The partnership helped us address gender issues in Lal Kuan (Chungi 3), a slum location in South Delhi.

Like a majority of Delhi’s slum settlements, Lal Kuan is a crowded community of forced migrants who have come to Delhi seeking a livelihood option and escaping conditions of semi-starvation from the villages they come from.

Living conditions in Lal Kuan are far below minimum standards. The homes are little more than temporary shelters, built by hand with plastic sheets. Most people here work in small shops, as drivers or as domestic workers in the middle and upper class neighbourhoods near Lal Kuan. Not surprisingly, most adults in Lal Kuan have either never been to school, or are drop outs, as are the children.

When Magic Bus started the Sport for Development sessions in this community, only boys were seen on the play ground. Girls were on the sidelines, watching the session. One of our youth mentors approached these girls and invited them to play. “We are not allowed to play with boys,” the girls told the youth mentor. “The games look interesting but our parents will get angry with us if we play.” With this feedback, the youth mentor organized a separate session for girls.

A meeting was organized with parents and other caregivers in the community to create awareness about the benefits of playing and sport for development (s4d) concept. We requested them to attend our session and watch their children playing with us keeping in mind all the safety measures.

Watching these sessions in full swing convinced the parents that this was one activity worth sending their daughters for.

We also organized a handball tournament, with 4 girls in each team. Parents and other adults in the community played an important role in organizing the tournament – the response was overwhelming. Some of the girls’ parents were very happy to see their daughters competing as equals, with boys. After this, gradually we built a mixed group of boys and girls.

As of today, there is no objection from the girls’ parents playing their daughters with boys. 

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