Mahamari Mein Masti (MMM)

Though not the face of the pandemic, children have been severely affected. An estimated 90% of children’s education has been disrupted because of school closure. While the storm of the pandemic hits everyone, we are not all in the same boat. The effects of this pandemic on children differ based on demographics and where they live. While children living in economically stable and positive households have a relatively quieter time and have the ability to enjoy online education with support from parents, many other children have to live in restricted spaces with families with no access to online teaching and support. Because of this, two noticeable patterns are emerging on how the pandemic is affecting children.

One is the milder case where the children’s development opportunities are affected because of the unavailability of resources such as lack of physical activity and social interaction with peers which led to mental health issues. As reported by Coaches Across Continent, an organization that works with 86 NGOs in six continents, 96% of the organizations in its network have reported that youth face mental health issues. The partners said that children are anxious, lonely, stressed, depressed, and angry. Another study conducted by Monkey sports showed similar results.

Other is the extreme case of children living in families with increasing negative interactions and facing increased exposure to physical, emotional, and sexual violence. According to the United Nations Report, child abuse cases have risen dramatically in many countries with Argentina seeing an increase in 25%, France is at 30%, Singapore is at 33%, and India is reporting a 50% increase in child abuse calls. As pointed by Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF, millions of these children who live in rural areas (from low-income families) relied on schools as a lifeline for meals and support in times of distress, screenings, and therapeutic services. School closure has created a shadow pandemic of violence against children.

Children need a coping mechanism and support to deal with the uncertainty and increased stress and negativity at home. While it may seem overwhelming, there are several choices children, parents, and the community can make to address the issues. One of them is Play. Play has proven to improve children’s mental resilience. Even the most organic form of Play that is unstructured, self-chosen, and self-directed can help children cope with life challenges.

However, Play can also bring out inequality and bias in many forms. In a community itself, while boys may get the opportunity to meet peers and engage in different activities, girls may not be allowed to go outside the house and have to be involved in doing household chores. This is where intervention from the Sports for Development (SFD) community can be useful.

Programs designed to use sports modelling inclusion (equal access to all), and safe spaces can increase sports participation and help address pressing issues this epidemic has created. Addressing these issues, we have designed a program called “Mahamari Mein Masti”.

The objective of the program is to address:

Dropout Rate – Because of COVID, an increasing number of children are dropping out of school.

Low academic score: By focusing on fun activities, improving children’s class readiness.

Anti-social Behavior – Creating safer community space for children

Low self-esteem and efficacy – Building Social-Emotional Skills in children.


We are offering different interventions such as

Building SEL in Children – Our volunteer coaches will conduct regular sports sessions for children to build social and emotional skills in schools.

Courses and workshops for teachers to help them deal with neglected children and children facing mental health issues.

Intervention for parents/communities to raise awareness regarding education and parenting

The program will be implemented through various projects the implementation of which will depend on the budget of the projects.

We piloted the project in December 2020 with 15 children living in the slum area of Patna. The project was shut because of a severe lockdown in the month of April 2021.  Here is a synapse of our pilot project.