Where will children play or their minds will be filled with...

Where will children play or their minds will be filled with...

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Harris started this petition to Chief Minister Delhi

Where will children play. Give them back their open playgrounds.

WHERE WILL CHILDREN PLAY.....!!! If every inch of open land space is taken over by big corporate houses or multi apartment complex builders. Even common grounds are muscled in by big clubs or sport clubs that have turned sports into money spinning carnivals.

This in turn keeps young children cooped up or flushes them onto main roads or limited spaces where accidents are bound to happen. Resident associations ban children from any running or games on their compounds and in instances it's heart rending to see sprightly ten year olds bats or footballs clenched between their arms or hidden behind their tiny backs being berated by senior citizens or association members. Sometimes even being threatened with action by cops if they play anymore. They will grow up fueled by resentment for being denied. 

They will fester or they may gravitate towards and learn from impromptu leaders who will prop themselves up in these kids eyes to take control of their lives, in whose hands they will be putty to mould for their selfish ends, can lead these impressionable minds to misadventures they may regret but too late, especially in slums .

Then we will label them criminals hardened or petty. Victims of circumstances derived from the greed of a few who in turn live life to the fullest with every right to do so but not by displacing others equal rights to exercise. With no one to protect or stand up for them, otherwise beautiful potential futures are ruined.

So who is really to blame. Each one of us has a responsibility to stand up and take a stand before we become a nation that denies every child a childhood except for a chosen lucky few, who by themselves are never to blame for being endowed better than others lesser.

We cannot create further narrow domestic walls that will build distrust and resentment. How further are we from creating an environment based on resentment and distrust which will someday spill out into the open and affect each and everyone one of us or our future generations whether deprived, endowed or sandwiched. We are essentially human and for all round development need to stretch across every spectrum to get a more holistic view of the world around us. 

If we still retain our disregard, We are going to grow a generation of resentful adults as to how they were treated as kids with the most bare basic necessity deprived. Denied of the basic need of running out,letting off steam and to play with abandon with fear of none and harm to none.

They should come back home to roost, spent, exhausted but happy and content. When denied of these opportunities however valid the reasons may be, all these random acts of unkindness that keeps young neighbourhood children from smaller apartment blocks or neighbourhood slums cooped up in constrained spaces or play their game of football or street cricket like a game of Russian roulette on the busy traffic roads. 

Kids grow not only from lessons learnt from text books or classrooms. They learn beautiful lessons of leadership, sharing , compassion, teamwork, aspiration, encouragement, winning and losing with grace and not just jingoism as fans from watching matches on the idiot box. They will not turn into armchair critics as they will understand failure is as much of life's beautiful lessons as much as success is.

Even in Gandhi Nagar located in Adyar, a prominent area of Chennai, a vast open playground which should have been accessible to the community surrounding it has been blocked off by some vested interests and cordoned off with fences so even children from within the area on a Sunday stare in anticipation at the vast green playground and retain a dream to play there someday where rich people from other areas play in their earmarked ground while they hold the bars and dream of someday they will play there too . 

A dream it will remain. Seems to be only for a chosen few. By who, god only knows. Who would dare ask. For fear of retribution. Compared to the actual value of the playground, some meagre amounts seen to have been spent to keep it secured to rent or maybe offer to a chosen few possibly at inordinate high rentals or for those under their aegis. It doesn't seem fair that a few individuals with might can cordon off property exceeding in value beyond the dreams of many can with some amount of meagre investment and a fence.

These properties are originally OSR spaces allotted originally for playgrounds, that were invariably a government rule that any layout should have an open space retained in perpetuity for a playground. So how can it be cordoned off to deny children in that area. How can any children of residents in that surrounding be kept out, even if they are from the slums and why should they be. What harm can they do that cannot be held together with some fair rules for use. This is just one case in point. 

What is even more important is how will our children grow mentally if all their open places are taken away by those with muscles and power of money to flex. They will grow up in an environment and belief system that only certain things rule this world. If they stay cooped up in restrained environments with hardly any space to flex their muscles, body,mind and soul in a constructive manner they will never learn.

To share, resolve and appreciate differences, build bridges. To bridge divides, to learn to grow beyond meagre lessons learnt from text books.Even the few small and constrained children's parks now seem to be getting filled with concrete presumably for the ease of cleaning. Who do we have as administrators those who believe a child's park should have multiple heights of concrete. It's really scary. 

We request our leaders and the powers that be to bring back those wide open spaces that gave our childhoods dreams that helped us reach way and beyond, of laughter of friendship of bonds for a lifetime of failure of resolving any distrust that built up.

So let's all just join our hands together to get down to getting back those wide open spaces to let all children play. Children of everyone even those whom a privy few may consider presumably of a lesser god. God bless our souls to an unmitigated disaster lurking around the edges. OF CHILDHOODS TAKEN AWAY. OF THE RIGHT TO PLAY.


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