All work no play – roads replace parks putting kids in danger | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

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Two years since the Delhi High Court upheld children’s right to play in parks, the directives are yet to be implemented, with kids still awaiting to reclaim their space in public parks. Complaints against residents’ welfare association brow beating kids from using parks for recreational activities as well as poorly maintained green spaces are rife in various parts of the city.

The High Court had observed that parks offered children a sense of self identity, and belonging and is an antidote to social alienation, vandalism and violence. The stats too do not speak in favour of sizeable number of parks for children. For instance, only 16 of North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s 2,920 parks are for children. While East Delhi Municipal Corporation has 2,058 parks, only 114 are for children. South Delhi Municipal Corporation has 6,400 with 190 children’s parks.

Preety Aggarwal, mayor, North DMC told DNA, “It is a common problem where kids are shunted out of parks by the elders. The situation is critical because kids need to play for holistic development. One of the solutions we are working on is to create separate playgrounds for them.”

Admitting the city has space crunch, she further said, in such scenario they would construct badminton courts in parks on the lines of open gyms. “Playgrounds in schools will also be maintained and upgraded with better infrastructure so that kids can utilise them. We are also having dialogues with RWAs to allow children to play in parks as they belong as much to them.”

There are parks but they do have facilities that children deserve. There can be a good jogging area, but it is hardly suitable for them. Parks do not have rides for children too. I think there should be more rides for them.

Ankit Pattanaik, New Ranjeet Nagar

We have only one or two parks in our locality, and that too are not in good condition. They are very small and congested, therefore children hardly go there. The government also does not take any initiative for proper maintenance of parks, so that children could go and play.

Abdul Salam Khan, Jamia

The major drawback for my colony is that it doesn’t have any public parks. Children don’t get a proper place to play. People have their own small gardens. Usually their children play there only. But the ones who don’t have their own garden, their kids usually play on roads, which is very dangerous.

Mili Agarwal, Vasant Kunj

There are very few playgrounds for children. The parks are monopolised by the old and toddlers or young children. So those in the age group of 9-15 years do not have any place to play. They try but I hear a lot of people scolding them. I think Delhi’s experiment with open gyms is laudable. Yet I feel there should be more playgrounds where children can play.

Abhay Chawla, Delhi Cantt

Parks are very well maintained by MCD in green park locality Delhi and accessible to all age groups. Children often go there in evening and play for hours. It is really safe. There are also many rides for the children.

Deepti Mishra, Green Park

First of all, a children’s park should have safe equipments. There shouldn’t be any cement or stony pathways instead grassy grounds so kids don’t get injured.

Proshenjit Mondal, Pancharipuri

EXPERT SPEAK

It is a crucial issue for children’s health, as we have to get them out of the homes to play and not just stick to television or mobile screens. Mental and physical fitness is important for overall growth. We are working on these lines. I hope that each ward in the city has a playground only for children with all kinds of sports facilities. We will take initiatives in this direction.”

Neema Bhagat, mayor, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC)

…& ANALYSIS

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  • Access to a healthy space for playing, such as parks and gardens, is extremely important for physical and psychological well-being of children.
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  • The authorities must make sure that no child is deprived of this basic facility.