Sunday, August 31, 2014

161. Playgrounds not for children

Reports appeared in media recently that playgrounds for children are increasingly shrinking. Open spaces are being turned into parking lots or ornamental parks. Children are being denied access to these parks for  fear that they will spoil the flower plants and beautification done there. RWAs and security guards actively try to prevent children from playing in these parks by putting locks on gates, turning off lights and so on. The few playgrounds that are left have been monopolized by gamblers and drunkards who shoo away the children  whenever they try to encroach upon 'their territory'. For girls, using these playgrounds is even more difficult, as parents are bothered about their security.

This is a matter of grave concern. Children need to play for their physical fitness and mental well-being. Through play, they learn qualities like team spirit, hard work, determination and focus which they will require when they grow up. Play breaks barriers and brings together people from different castes and creeds. Above all, children should be allowed to play, because they want to play. Playing is a desire intrinsic to childhood. Alas, this desire is recklessly muffled.

Many of our schools do not have good playgrounds. The schools which have the best of playgrounds are generally out of reach of marginalized children. Such children cannot play in schools and they cannot play outside. What will they do? Where will they go?

It is high time, the society including parents realizes the importance of play for children and make playgrounds available to them. RWAs, Governments, municipal authorities, civil society organizations - all have to join hands and do their bit to ensure that children are allowed to be children. We must not give our children a sedentary lifestyle in which they are busy either studying or watching TV or playing video games. Let us make playgrounds available and accessible to them. Let them run, laugh and play. Let us give children the right to childhood. 

4 comments:

Usha Menon said...

Onkar, you are very correct!! space for playing for children is being denied to them. These parks are given for marriages and parties, which becomes a source of income. Rwas and the authorities concerned must come forward and not shoo away children, which is rightfully for them.

Indrani said...

I agree with you.
This is one of the most ignored needs of kids.

Sai Charan said...

Definitely agree with what you said, it is important for children to be actively involve in outdoor activities at a playground nearby their house. Every parent should ensure they give their children that opportunity by taking them to a playground.

As technology is fast developing, children nowadays spend more time on computer/laptop/tablet/smart phone and less time in creative and outdoor sports.

Good post,
Cheers!! :)

How do we know said...

Very true sir. I also feel this way.