Gangtok, January 08, 2012:
We were playing a mock game of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. It was my 13 year old niece’s turn to play Amitabh Bachan, so she with her fake Amitabh accent asks me “How many children parks are there in Sikkim?” (This game doesn’t have any options unlike the real ‘Crorepati’ show). I, desperate to become a ‘Crorepati’ start thinking frantically inside my head. Leave Sikkim as a whole I even didn’t have any clue of how many children parks were there in Gangtok. So after a long struggle I come to a conclusion that there is one Children Park in Gangtok at least. As I took into account all I could find was only one Children Park above Palzor Stadium.
During the one day strike which happened last year in the state everywhere we could see were children playing on the vacant road. One of the children from my neighborhood had said “these strikes should happen once in every week at least so that we get to play freely.” One could see the immense joy and pleasure in his eyes when he said these words.
Once an acquaintance of mine said “playing is a child’s birthright”. Now when I ponder upon it, I find the statement so apt. There is no child in this world that doesn’t want/like to play. When we were small we got ample amount of space to run around, the children nowadays hardly get a chance to do so and the future children will be deprived from the joy of playing. Even today children have no place to play. Gone are those days when children used to enjoy the game of football in the fields.
The schools also cannot provide them the satisfaction of a playground as the upcoming schools nowadays face the problem of space constraint. People in order to build splendid shelters have put up concrete everywhere and hence there is no place left for their own coming generations. Due to space constraint the children are bound to stay in the house. With no place to play, they are inclined to computer games and television and the parents are the ones to complain about these habits (tagging them as ‘bad habits’) without realizing their plight. This in a way can also become one of the factors of children falling into bad company and drugs. The children in a way are forced to grow mentally fast.
Children don’t need life size play fields to play grand tournaments or championships, a small playground or a small space is sufficient for them to run and jump around is more than enough.
The game is over with laughter, fun and I winning hundreds of self made fake notes, but the question still remains inside my head that actually how many children parks are there in the state?