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The Freedom to Play, The Freedom to Dream
The Freedom to Play, The Freedom to Dream

Shrutika Bandu Devgade is a Class 7 student, and hails from a family of 3 siblings and her parents. Shrutika’s father (Bandu) and mother (Kalpana) are both B.A. (Bachelor of Arts – Year 2) drop outs.

Her father is a daily-wage earner; a painter by hobby, which later transformed into his career option. He earns a minimum Rs. 300 (US$ 4.45) per day, and post digitalized flex making the work frequency as a painter has further decreased and the family income has become irregular. Earlier he made a lot more money, especially during elections. To supplement his income Shrutika’s father, engages as a wooden handicraft worker. Her mother, does a few odd jobs in stitching and sewing work, as a casual labourer and not as a professional.

Shrutika enrolled into the Magic Bus programme in 2013 and since then, her father and mother say that, “There have been many positive changes in her behaviour, after she has joined Magic Bus”. She has started participating in dance and drama, story-telling, drawing, and many other extra-curricular activities. Her confidence levels have grown, and she forthcoming in making conversations with new people, quick in her replies and exhibits gender confidence when engaging in interactive activities.

Shrutika’s enthusiasm is infectious as she skips to school every day, even when she is unwell. This positive attitude has won her a gift for having 100% attendance in school. Shrutika also stood first in a drawing competition in school, and she credits her interest in art to her father. She recently participated and won the first position, at the Village Block level in the Navratna Puraskar Yojna (a competition organised by the government). She is currently attempting to win the District level competition as well.

Best moment in Magic Bus:

She describes her best moment as the freedom to play games. She wants to be an inspiration to others just like a Magic Bus Youth Mentor was to her. Her ambition is to become a software engineer as she has interest in computers.