Special park for special kids to open on December 30

Disabled-friendly park at Gandhinagar to help special children

Having fun with friends in a park is part and parcel of being a child. However, most of the playgrounds or parks are not disabled-friendly to use for children with special needs.

A first of its kind park— ‘Chilipili’ specially designed to cater to the requirements of special children is set to open at Gandhinagar in Mangalore on December 30 at 9.30 am.

Addressing a press meet here on Wednesday, Architect of the park Venkatesh Pai said the park is a joint venture by the Mangalore City Corporation and Gandhinagar Park Trust.

The Park has one slide, three swings including double swings to help parents and children to sit, merry-go-round, fountain, rope climber, tyre tunnel, see saw, sensory pathway (with area made of grass, sand, pebbles and tiles) with handrail. As a child in wheelchair can not play in a sand pit, provision has been made on the table, to allow the child to play in sand.

Special children will be allowed to play inside the park from 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm everyday. The park will be closed on Monday as the caretaker of the park will have holiday on Monday.

The press release from the Trust members said 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 to think about providing separate play area where the special children could play without any interference from others.

“As the park is meant for special kids, eventually, we hope that all normal kids will develop empathy for the special children and the park will be inclusive. Until such time, the rule to allow only special kids will be there in force,” it said.

Park devt

To a query on the initiation of the MCC to develop a park for special kids has come very late, MCC Commissioner Dr Harish said that the MCC is making all efforts to develop park in its limits. Two parks will come up at Surathkal. A sum of Rs 21 lakh has been allotted for ‘Vanitha’ park, exclusively for the women in Mangalore.

A coordination committee will be constituted to chalk out plans for the development of the Vanitha Park. Though there has been poor response to the park, the response will improve gradually once the park is developed fully, he added.

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