Sunday, August 09, 2009

Where do the children play?

Where do the children play?

Sudipa Chakraborty. BANGALORE



While the BBMP commissioner forgot his promise, children of the nearby Tilaknagar slums decided to continue the fight for their play space at Jayanagar. With the park opposite Usha Apartments giving way to a BBMP service centre, they now demand an alternative play area.
A white ribbon tied around her head, two-year-old Karunya insisted on playing inside the park where the construction of a BBMP service centre is nearing completion. There were another 60 kids from nearby slum areas of Tilaknagar, who came with their parents for a symbolic shraadh ceremony marking the end of their battle for the park.
Vinay Sreenivasa, volunteer, Hasiru Usiru, explained, "We have deliberately avoided black ribbons because this is not the end of our fight. We will continue to protest untill an alternative space is given to the slum kids."
In spite of staging protests, writing letters and meeting the commissioner, the kids were let down. Ten-year-old Sanjay and 17-year-old Ahalya had met the commissioner last month. Sanjay summed up the general emotion, "We can't afford toys or visit malls. So, we come here to play. But, maybe, it is not important for the 'big babus'."

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