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Dhaka Tribune

When will the playground for differently-abled people open to the public?

There has been no visible progress since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced setting up a playground for the differently-abled in 2016

Update : 09 Oct 2018, 11:36 AM

A large signboard stating: “the open playground is only for disabled people,’’ is visible on the west side of the Parliament—beside Mirpur Road. 

The playground is hard to recognize as such. It is unkept and filled with tall grass. Its entrance is also hard to find.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced an open playground for the differently-abled in 2016. A 4.16-acre plot was handed over to the National Disabled Development Foundation (NDDF) on December 18, that year, to facilitate the regular practice of differently-abled sportspersons.

The NDDF, under the Ministry of Social Welfare, started work on the playground in January 2017 and installed a signboard. Nearly two years have passed since then but the playground is yet to open. 

Last year, Chief Whip ASM Feroz said the playground would, “open within the next six months,”  but a year has passed without any visible progress. 

Nearly two years have passed since the announcement to an open playground for the differently-abled in 2016, but the playground is yet to open | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Mafizul Isalm, deputy director of Society for the Welfare of Autistic Children, said the delay was “very disappointing.” 

“Why is it taking so much time? There is no need to allocate a big budget to construct the playground. A secured boundary wall and clearing the ground will be enough,” he added.

When asked about the playground’s current status, NDDF Director (administration and finance) Mominur Rahman said that in 2016, the Public Works Department handed over the land to NDDF after receiving the speaker’s permission. 

“We wrote to the architecture department on June 25 this year for a final design of the playground. We will start work after receiving that,” he said.

Mominur said they will set up temporary restroom and washroom but will not construct a permanent structure that may change the parliament area’s design.

“We will just clean the ground and make it plain with sand and soil. We hope to get the final design this week and complete the work by December,” he added.

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