Durga’s Experience in the Smiling Bus
Smiling Bus is our project which we launched a year ago to reach out to those children who do not have easy access to education.
With immense efforts put in by our team, we decided to take this ‘mobile school’ to four highly affected areas which are Bhandup dumping ground, Borivali, Wadala station and Kamathipura and we were successfully running this project till the outbreak of covid-19 hit the city of Mumbai. This pandemic has forced us to stop visiting these children every week.
The Smiling Bus offers different services. In the first place, health care, on a weekly basis, through a medical professional who does the regular follow-up with the family and kids by providing medicines when necessary, as well as nutritional supplements.
Our LSE (Life Skills Empowerment) team conducts life skills sessions with the kids, which include good and healthy habits, decision making, critical thinking etc.
As a part of the Jump2Justice project, the Smiling Bus helps these children to exercise their right to identity, providing them with the necessary support to regularize their legal situation, and thus be able to access social services and resources.
Until March we managed to reach 300 children and for the last 7 months we have been using digital platforms to adapt our beloved Smiling Bus to the new normal of the pandemic.
Shortly we will inform you of how the Smiling Bus is resuming on the streets and what would be its new objective in order to cope up with the current needs of the communities with which we work.
For now, Durga, one of the girls who was participating in the Smiling Bus, also in online LSE sessions during these months, wants to explain how her experience has been for the last 7 months and would like to say something on behalf of her friends: