Magic Bus works to ensure children complete secondary education

Central Chronicle News
Raipur, Jan 30: Magic Bus has one of the largest poverty alleviation programmes in India impacting more than 4,00,000 children and 35000 young people in 22 states and 81 districts. The organisation is actively working to ensure children in Chhattisgarh complete school. Magic Bus has transformed the lives of over one million children and young people living in poverty, taking them from a childhood full of challenges to a life with meaningful livelihoods. In Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, education for children and particularly the girl child, continues to remain uncertain and tentative even if she is enrolled in school. Many a times, circumstances and family obligations restrict her from continuing her education, thereby leading to her dropping out. In most cases, she does not re-enroll. She is pulled in to take on household chores and look after her siblings. Such is the story of many of the adolescent girls residing in communities across Chhattisgarh, who are at risk of dropping out of school. Adding to the problem is the rampant alcohol addiction witnessed among families in the community, causing unstable home environments. The Magic Bus Young Leaders in Bilaspur are relentlessly paying home visits to such families to educate and motivate parents to send their children to school. Though many students do turn up and are now continuing their classes, much needs to be done to ensure full participation of the parents and their children. One such story is of Rima who comes from a tribal village of Bilha block in Bilaspur district in Chhattisgarh. Her family was dependent on labour work and it was the only source of income for them through which their expenses were met. Unfortunately, the income was insufficient to meet basic dietary needs. Rima’s parents would leave for work while she stayed at home to take care of her siblings. This resulted in her being unable to attend school. After many visits, Ramesh Das and his team of Young leaders from Magic Bus, were able to convince Rima’s parents to leave the children in the care of their grandmother. Sadly, despite the best of efforts and intentions, Rima still failed to turn up at school. It was then that Ramesh visited her home once again and Rima hesitantly shared that she didn’t have a school uniform and neither school books. She feared her classmates would make fun of her.

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