Around 70 streetchildren had a field day on Thursday playing a special board game invented for them. Called the Malamaal, the game required the children to field questions like, "If you can not afford a lawyer to fight your case, what are your options?"
It was something that the kids did with ease. “The game is devised for children between 10-18 years of age. It aims to educate them on life skills so that they can adopt to new challenges in a positive way,” said Roop Sen, Project Coordinator, Sanjog, which is a part of Groupe Developpement, an international agency for development.
The game, played on the lines of Monopoly and Life, is more than just about earning money. It is informative and has questions on HIV/AIDS, issues related to crime, law, rights and protection, among others. It also educates the players on concepts like charity, money management, the role of the police and social workers.
“It is a tool that social workers and peer educators can use effectively,” added Sen. The children were divided into four teams and the game was played electronically. The board was displayed on huge screens and the dice was rolled by the computer.
To add to the fun, the game was conducted by Circuit Bhai, like the one in the movie Lage Raho Munnabhai, who kept the audience in splits. “The questions were general in nature. We knew the answers to most of them, and learnt about the others,” said Sonia, a 15-year-old from Holy Family, an NGO.
Also present at The Heritage Valley, the venue of the meet, were social workers from various South-East Asian nations.