Help keep children's play parks and other public parks in Bengaluru open for longer hours.

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On August 15th, 2018, Independence day, I had a wonderful day planned for me and my two toddlers. It's a beautiful cloudy day. We had watched the flag unfurling and parade on tv, the kids were fed and everyone was full of energy. I decided to take them to Sankey tank for a walk and distract them with looking at the geese and ducks there. Sankey tank is a beautiful old lake circumferenced by a broad walking path, exercise and play areas, benches and an immersion tank.  A favourite spot for locals and visitors.

We walk over a lil past 10 am and the gates are shut.  The security guard says sorry we are closed. Outside there are schools kids (post ID Celebrations at school) waiting around wanting to go in, sit with their friends and just spend some time together on a holiday. One student suggested ' The park should be open on public holidays, at least! A doctor who said she met with few patients in the morning, had come out for a walk but she wasn't allowed in because the park shuts at 10 am! Parents had woken early to send their kids to school, waited a few hours to relax and then step out for a walk but no, the park is shut and we are expected to walk on the roads only to be honked at or chased by strays on every other street. 

Looking for an alternative, I decided to take the kids to a sponsored children's play park located near PoornaPrajna school but that one shuts too at 10 am! Where can children play when not at school or during a holiday? On the streets? Run off to a mall? 

And as we all know, ' Nature is the best playground'. We need to keep these park and nature spaces around lakes and botanical gardens accessible to the many.

Bengaluru/ Bangalore, also known as the garden city boasts of several recreational and exercise parks, but these are open to the public for a short time (6am to 10 am) and (4.30 pm to 7pm). Having regular access to green spaces are the best part of the city and a public necessity. 

Public spaces should be open for public use for more hours during the day. I did meet the local MLA and he categorically stated that he cant do anything about a rule. He stated that there are 'security reasons' that I wouldn't understand. Really, what security reason could that be? Are we unable to keep public spaces safe for our families during the day? Let us all understand the 'why not' and come together to figure out a way to keep children's play and other green natural spaces open for longer so that all of us can benefit from it. 

 



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