Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where's my playground?

Play and childhood go hand in hand. A flashback of our childhood days are always associated with healthy evening doses of playtime and panting back home breathlessly, face resplendant with sweat and smiles. Play is every child's birthright I guess.

Now the situation seems to be different. Schools do not have playgrounds and parks are meant only for walkers and plants. One can hardly see any open, barren playground that is meant for children.

No place to play is what my children come back and tell us. Though we chose an apartment which is huge and has lots of space, it still is not big enough for our children to play football. At different ages children play different games. Right now they are heavily into football and they cannot play as there are complaints of plants getting spoiled, lights being broken and so on and so forth. This is the present day scenario in every place.

Where do children play then? Getting them enrolled into a sports academy seems to be the solution. But the time that one has to spend on the road to drop and pick them up is a major problem what with the kind of traffic maze one has to decipher. Just one hour of free play is what children ask for. The so called bigger apartments spend lots of money on garden and landscaping but hardly ever have I seen the builders assigning space for teenage sports. How I wish they just reserve a small corner, barricade it with mesh and allow it to be used as a ground for football or cricket. That way there is no damage to property and children can have their corner to play.

It was quite a contradiction the other day when I heard my son reading an essay written in school about the importance of play and its role in the healthy development of children. I was not able to answer him when he asked me "But mama, where is the place to play?"

No wonder children are shifting to indoor games and spending lots of time in front of their T.V or computer. Will the days of delightful shouts and laughter of children playing be a thing of the past soon? I remember the story of the giant who never allowed any children into his huge, beautiful garden and the garden withered away.Though the story there had a happy ending reality will be too harsh for our children.

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