Apathy plagues our children's parks

Apathy plagues our children's parks

Children’s parks in the city are in a deplorable condition. Where swings once stood stand iron poles, giving a hint that once upon a time there used to be something for kids. Ironically, when it comes to a proper children’s park there is nothing much to offer, especially to those who don’t live in society apartments. 

Recently, the Delhi High Court also expressed its anguish over the poor maintenance of children’s parks in the City. The court was informed that most of the swings in the parks were damaged and bound to cause injuries. The amicus curiae in the case, advocate Nidesh Gupta, informed the court about the deplorable condition of the parks pointing towards the poor state of the swings, nails coming loose  and electricity wires spread  all over. 

The court also took suo motu cognisance of a letter written by Supreme Court judge Kurian Joseph, who visited the popular children's park at India Gate and Lake Park near Sarojini Nagar. He expressed his displeasure over the irresponsible attitude of the concerned authorities in maintaining the park. 

Metrolife explored other parts of the city to find out about the condition of children’s parks and learnt to its dismay that they were in a shambles, a victim of official apathy and neglect. 

Anil Sidhwani, president, Residents Welfare Association (RWA), Azad Nagar, East Delhi says, “There are two parks in our area – one is under the MCD and the other under DDA. And, both these parks don’t have a single swing for the children. Everything has been destroyed and damaged and there is no cleanliness either. No action has been taken despite our several complaints to the area councillor and  government officials.” 

Sidhwani also mentions the fully-equipped gymnasium that was constructed in the DDA park four years ago but which could not be opened to the public.  “It was for all age groups, but it hasn’t been opened since four years as officials couldn’t find an instructor! Today, all the windows of the room have been broken and some equipment has  also been stolen,” lamented  Sidhwani. 

Similar is the condition in South Delhi parks too. Sanjeev Bansal, president, RWA, Ashram says, “There are three to four parks in our area and none of them is in a good state. Forget about swings, there is litter everywhere. There are no gardeners to look after the park.”

Commenting on the High Court’s concern over the parks, he said, “The bench must have sought a status report from civic agencies on the issue and directed them to take immediate steps to improve the parks. But it is definite no action will be taken. Over the years we have been asking for the renovation of the parks but no action has been taken by the MCD or DDA. Now, when there is no ruling government nobody  is interested in looking into  the matter.”

Citing the main reasons behind the poor maintenance of children’s parks, which is an essential part of any residential area, B S Vohra, president, East Delhi RWAs Joint Front says, “It is due to the lackadaisical approach of the officials towards parks. No doubt funds are being released but they aren’t being utilised where they should be. In the absence of gates, drug peddlers easily enter parks during night hours. They destroy the swings and sell it to fulfil their drug demand. The fact is everybody takes children’s parks for granted.” 

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