East Kidwai Nagar had a wide range of regional groups that have migrated from various parts of the country. It is an area that is two minutes walking distance from the nearest metro station and is near the posh INA area in South Delhi, and yet it is not really an livable area. Most of the residents are daily wage labourers, housemaids and servants. The houses are not made of brick walls, but are kuchcha. These style of huts are lacking not only in the basic amenities, but also proper drainage and sanitation facilities.
This area comprises of 4 major communities of which three communities namely the Madrasi Camp, the Jhansi Camp and the Bengali Camp live in dilapidated conditions. On the other hand, the Block B community has government quarters and better living conditions than the other three communities.
Magic Bus started work here three years ago.
Under the guidance of a Training and Monitoring Officer (TMO) Awungshi Mayonmi Zimik, Youth Mentor (YM) Priyanka Vaid ensures that the programme is conducted properly in this area. Initially, they faced a lot of resistance from the community, specifically regarding the provision of an open ground for conducting sessions on, as well as sending their children to participate in the sessions. Eventually the team’s hardwork paid off and a total 185 children are now attending the sessions.
To help children get over the immediate challenges and grow up well, children are taught about good health and hygiene practices by conducting activities such as drawing competitions in the community. Other programmes, such as refresher training for our volunteers, help keep the focus of our work sharp. A football tournament conducted here helped the community to start trusting us more.
“During our initial days of starting the programme, we were facing opposition from the community who did not really believe in us. After organising meetings and home visits to convince the parents, a few of them agreed to send their children to attend the sessions. This then inspired an RWA (Resident’s Welfare Association) leader to support our programme by providing access to a ground near the community hall in East Kidwai Nagar. Our work has spread in the surrounding area, providing us support from the local shopkeepers, the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi), doctors, NGOs and even police personnel," says Awungshi.
The children have started enjoying the sessions and are also trying to implement the key messages they learn in their daily life, especially those related to health and good hygiene practices. In the future, Magic Bus plans to introduce key messages around sexual and reproductive health in this community.
Magic Bus sessions here are divided into three parts: