A picture of a park can never be complete without children and play equipment. True so, have you ever pictured a park with special children playing little games? Answer will be in negation because the civil society has never given them space in this so called ‘normal’ world.
In an effort of its kind, Gandhinagar Park Trust, Mannagudda, is creating space for special children under its latest project ‘Special Park for Special Children’. If all goes well, the park will have special children playing in a separate section provided exclusively to them in an endeavour of inclusion mooted by the Trust.
The plan is to allot about 20 cents of land from the total park area of 3 acre for development of play area for special children. The Trust has already made a layout of the plan after deliberations with pediatrician, physiotherapist and those involved in teaching special children so as to bring out a final product where special children will be safe and comfortable.
A Bangalore based NGO named ‘Kili-Kili,’ which has already managed to get three such special parks done in Bangalore has extended its support to the Trust.
What will be in store?
The park will have two see-saw, four swings with special bucket like seats so that children with weak back can sit, roller slides with high sides, coloured tyre tunnel, merry go round with provision to take wheelchair on it, pipes and net combination climbers, sensory pathway (with area made of grass, sand, pebbles and tiles) with handrail, sensory wall with pass through holes, small waterfall with waterplay tables, sounds play with hanging chimes and xylophone, lawns with mounds for rolling down and play, colourful plant bed for colour identification along with wash area for hand and feet, disable-friendly toilets, seats around the play area for parents and safe enclosure are some of the features of the park planned. Trust members say that there were a couple of autistic children who used to come to the park very often and once one of the autistic child was ill-treated by the children and public. The matter was taken to the police by the public.
This incident made the Trust think about providing separate play area where the special children could play without any interference from others.
Following this incident, the Trust started working on the plan, a year ago.
At present, the Trust is clear about the plan and has got the layout done from architect Venkatesh Pai, who has made a design after conducting indepth study on the concept, paying attention to intricate details of behaviour pattern and requirements of special children. In a quest to give the best environment for special children, the Trust plans to relax rules. While food is not allowed inside the park for other children, food and picnic will be allowed for special children in this play area. The Trust also intends to organise programme for the special children from various special schools once the park is done.
“The question is whether such children will be visiting the park? Yes is the answer. Provided with exclusive area meant for them, I am sure the parents of special children will be elated to bring their children to the park,” says one of the key persons of the Trust.
According to the Trust, the execution of the project may require about Rs 7 to Rs 8 lakhs. Since the equipment are specially designed they are expensive.
“We have spoken about the project to the Corporation and the incumbent Municipal Commissioner Dr K N Vijayaprakash has shown great deal of interest in the project,” says the Trust member adding that depending on what the Corporation has to allot, the Trust will look at collecting donations from various quarters.
Kudos to the samaritans who are striving for inclusion in true terms. Those wanting to know more about the plan may contact 0824-2457354.