'Where do we play?'

'Where do we play?'

Vox Pop

All playgrounds are either occupied by construction workers or used as junkyards.

‘Galli’ cricket or football is restricted to congested bylanes with cars and bikes zipping past.

There is no space in the apartments either. In the evenings, the parks are filled with people jogging or taking leisurely strolls, while children have to adjust in smaller play areas.

Recently, the residents of Malleswaram took a strong stand when the century old playground in the area was shrunk by the BBMP for road widening. With more and more playgrounds fast disappearing, where is the space for children to play?

Marella Gilbert
Professional
“Of late, a lot of playgrounds are becoming very commercialised. They are either being used for public functions, protests or religious meetings. I stay near Austin Town and the playgrounds out here hardly have any space for children. It is just unfair for the kids because they are left with no choice but to ride their cycles or play on the streets which is very risky and can lead to accidents.”

Wendy
Parent
“It is very important for children to burn their energy by playing outside with friends. But being a working mom, I can’t have my kids playing on the streets without anyone monitoring them. That’s why I moved into an apartment where I know it’s safe for my children to play without any risk. But there is also a downside to the situation. Not many apartments have large places alloted to playgrounds. With over 100 apartments in one community centre, it does get difficult when there is only one small playground for so many children.”

Jadan
Student
“It doesn’t matter if the playground is outside or inside an apartment but it should be big enough to accommodate many kids. I feel there aren’t enough playgrounds for children at all and in the ones that are there, adults often keep coming over and disrupting our games. There have been many occasions when people have taken away our footballs or cricket balls to stop us from playing. We can’t go out and play on the streets because it is dangerous. We also can’t play inside the apartment playground because it disturbs those staying around. So where do we go and play?”

Rekha Hegde
Parent
“Many a time, we see that playgrounds are used for either construction work or dumping garbage. It is not only unhygienic but also proves to be a breeding ground for diseases. That is something that no parent wants. The parks are definitely more clean and well maintained but there are so many strict rules, especially with some even specifying that children should not play inside. So it leaves them with very few places to play.”

Vedika
Student
“I stay near Rajarajeshwarinagar. There are some large areas of land out here where glass pieces and other junk have been dumped. I feel the government can turn them into playgrounds because often, we see so many children in the neighbourhood playing on the streets. And once a boy was actually hit by a speeding bike while playing cricket. The problem is that many of the children, who come out to play, get so involved in their game they are not aware of their surroundings. That’s when playgrounds come in handy. The government should see to it that playgrounds are maintained well and bring in more of them.”
As told to Megha Shenoy

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