Stories that matter.
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Excursion In Delhi
Life Skills: A Key to Women’s Empowerment

As team North Delhi organised a fun-filled picnic to beat the heat, we got our first entry for the blog from Santosh Kumar, a Training and Monitoring Officer with Magic Bus. Read on, as we present this post in his original words. Cheers to the attempt!

One of the most important pillars of Magic Bus is experiential learning. All picnics are interesting outings, a good source of enjoyment and learning experience. We come close to each other and can see our other sides, that is, a fun loving nature. In short, children not only learn in their classrooms but beyond it, and experiential learning (through exposure) encourages a feeling of oneness, togetherness, belongingness and a spirit of friendship.

The background: A picnic is a short trip for pleasure to a beautiful place. Picnics add spice to our life. it provide the much sought-after relief from our routine life and refresh out tired nerves. Picnics give students a temporary relief from their studies. After enjoying a picnic, they feel fresh and take up their studies with renewed vigor. Delhi is the capital of India. It is a beautiful city. Some of the popular picnic spots in Delhi are the Lotus Temple, Iskcon Temple, India Gate and Akshardham Mandir. These places are full of trees and plants of different varieties, where one can play or just lie down and relax.

Therefore, on the last Wednesday of March 2012, Magic Bus India Foundation North District planned a Dilli Darshan (sightseeing in Delhi) to four places. It was the best season for Delhi for picnics. The day was not warm. We decided to go there by bus.

The planning experience: It is worth mentioning that the whole picnic was conducted by the youth mentors (YMs) and community sport coaches (CSCs) without any financial support from the organisation. The kids have been requesting a picnic during the sessions, saying, “bhaiya please humein ghumane le chalo, hum apna kiraya khud denge aur khana ghar se le aayenge” (bhaiya, please take us out on a picnic, we will contribute for the fare and bring food from home).

A small meeting was organized among the kids CSCs and the parents for the picnic and calculations revealed that each participant would have to contribute INR 70 - not a big amount for Dill Darshan. We collected INR 3500.

There, we begin: We got a discount of 1000 rupees from the travel agency. Everything went right. We assembled in the JJ Colony, Bhalswa ground. Everybody had their lunchboxes and were delighted as they would have a free day to enjoy themselves. We were wearing fashionable dresses and looking smart and cheerful.

The first destination was the Lotus Temple, and we reached around 11:30 am. Children explored various facets of the place and enjoyed while learning at the same time. Some enthusiastic ones were seen clicking a lot of photographs. The House of the Bahai is a fine picnic spot of Delhi.

Everyone looked jolly. Soon, we went to the Iskcon temple. The temple was completed in 1998 as a complex of temples. It was built on a hilly terrain and is dedicated to the Lord Krishna. This stylishly-built monument is regarded as one of the major temple complexes in India.

The next destination was India Gate. Most of them had heard about it from friends, now it was their turn to salute it. It was time for lunch, with India gate in the background. Children were feeling hungry. We opened our lunch boxes and ate to our heart's fill. It was delicious, with no discrimination between all of us as we enjoyed sharing of food. We played there for some time, and did some boating as well. After lunch, we relaxed for some time. The children roamed around in the lawn and felt like free birds.

After spending a good time at India Gate, we moved to our last destination for the day - the Akshardham Temple. The children were very excited and cheerful to visit the breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss of the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple. It was a brilliant experience to witness the essence of India’s ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual messages. It took us through an enlightening journey through India’s glorious art, values and contributions for the progress, happiness and harmony of mankind.

End of a fun-filled day: It was really an enriching experience for the children where they not only enjoyed the fun and frolic but also learned some important lessons of life. The children thanked Magic Bus for giving them such a great opportunity to learn as well as enjoy the day with their friends from the session.

Santosh Kumar is a Training and Monitoring Officer (TMO) at Magic Bus' North Delhi location. Magic Bus TMOs are responsible for smooth conduction and monitoring of the sessions, as well as training YMs and CSCs on and off the field.
This is the first post by a TMO on the Magic Bus blog.

Magic Bus works towards inculcating life skills and values in children and youth by using the medium of sport, and works in the areas of education, gender, health, leadership, livelihood and right to play. Know more about our impact.