Saturday, July 18, 2009

Civic service—to rob childrens' playground

Civic service—to rob childrens' playground

Residents call this an unnecessary move as bbmp has an office 200 mts away

Sudipa Chakraborty. Bangalore

Braving inclement weather—heavy downpour and chill winds, ten-year-old Amar stood like a rock, protesting against the encroachment of their play area by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Behind him stood a pack of kids, barefoot, with no woollens to keep warm, shouting slogans, "We do not want an office here, we want our park."
They were too young for a protest indeed, but when it came to protecting their play area, they were a vociferous lot. "We want justice, this is the only play space we have in this area. You cannot take it away from us" the slogans continued. Some activists from Hasiru Usiru and residents of the neighbouring Usha Apartments joined the kids in their protest.
If BBMP wins over the tiny voices, it could be the end of all merriment for more than two hundred kids of the neighbouring slums and apartments of 16th Main, Jayanagar 4th T Block.
According to a government order, the only playground in the area with play equipment will soon give way to a BBMP service centre. Even when close to a hundred children, along with activists and residents, shouted slogans outside the park, construction work for the proposed BBMP service centre continued. In fact, the construction work started on July 1, after all play equipment like slides was dumped in one corner of the park.
The park is frequented by children from the Tilaknagar slums and students of a nearby school which does not have a playground and residents.
The next alternate play area for these children is the Tilaknagar park situated across the main road. However, this could be a dangerous alternative as most of the children are too young to cross the busy road.

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