ScreenShot120Magic Bus children in the Dharavi community have to dodge heaps of garbage on their way to the fields. Through discussion, they realized that some of their communities looked the same way and decided, as a team, to do something about it. A group of 10-16 year olds decided to turn this into an initiative.

The Magic Bus mentors prepared the children for the challenges they would face. Armed with a plan, the youth went off to advocate the harmful effects of the environment on health to parents, teachers, and other stakeholders in the community. Some went door to door and others made signs.

Any project needs funding, so the older children worked on creating a budget. They offered to raise funds from parents and family as well as donating their own personal savings.

The commitment to the project was amazing. Their thought, planning, strategy, and execution in building consensus and community buy-in was inspiring.

In January 2009, 55 children armed with signs and rallying cries went door to door on a cleanliness drive through the Dharavi community. This is only one example of similar youth-run community drives which are the foundation of the understanding of health and hygiene basics.