Small step in creating more play spaces

Shashi Jeevan and his friends have taken a small step in creating a safe play area for his neighbourhood children.

There is an urgent need to provide safe places for children to play and have fun. Children go to unexpected extents to fulfil their desire to have fun, unaware of the consequences it could lead to. Children playing on busy streets in front of their homes run the risk of being run over by rash drivers. I saw this kid fly his kite, standing on top of his building’s water tank.

Young boy flies kite atop water tank, dangerously. Pic: author.

Watching the children taking such risks led to me take up a community project that can make a difference in our neighbourhood (near Masjid Road, Bommanahalli).

The nearest playground in our area is more than half a kilometre away, but parents prefer their children to play close by. A couple of friends, Tanmaya Mohanty and Ravi volunteered, and we identified a quiet corner in our street, and procured a few badminton kits.
The children who came to play took responsibility of teaching the other kids what they knew and to take ownership of sports equipment.

We organised badminton matches and other games like hopskotch, which don’t need too much space. We are also bringing awareness amongst children about the perils of playing on the street and of doing adventurous stuff in their rooftops.

Children are quick learners and they learnt badminton in a few days. Playing with children from other communities has led many unplanned positive side-effects. It led to unity among the children. It also has led to development of self-confidence and sense of belongingness among them.

We plan to continue organising games and request the authorities to identify and provide well equipped playing facilities so that children can play their favourite sports. After all healthy body leads to healthy mind which in turn leads to healthy India. ⊕

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