Discussants at a program on Monday emphasized on necessity of sufficient park and playgrounds in Dhaka to help children grow up properly.
It is essential to provide them with enough open space and light as the congestion in this mega city prevents them from seeing even the sky at times, they said.
They made the observation while discussing at a roundtable seminar on Child Sensitive Urban Planning, jointly organised by Save the Children in partnership with Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) and The Daily Star in the city.
Speakers at the programme discussed on how to better plan the city to make it more child friendly.
Ten students from seven schools of Savar and Narayanganj were asked to speak at the discussion. All presented different aspects which needed improvement in order for them to grow up properly.
Issues such as air pollution, the poor state of public transport, insufficient spacing in front of residential buildings, improper waste management, and inadequate space on the sidewalks were voiced.
All children brought up the lack of parks and fields.
Delivering the inauguration speech, Md Moinul Islam, urban planner for Narayanganj City Corporation, said children are the foundation of our country, who would go on to become leaders in the future.
He stressed on the importance of children growing up with a good memory.
“Speaking to 100 students from 10 schools over the past year, I have found that their most common demand is to ensure proper playing fields.”
“Children today are growing wider instead of taller, which is not a healthy form of growth, and hinders the chances of the country achieving a developed status by the year 2041.”
The planner called for an increase in the number of parks and fields in the city, so that children can grow up in the real world instead of the virtual world through TVs and games.
Adil Mohammad Khan, joint secretary of BIP, claimed that child sensitive urban planning is necessary for children to grow up properly.
He said that children also need to be given enough open space and light, as the congestion prevents them from seeing even the sky at times. Furthermore, he called for the implementation of required changes and improvements instead of developing new policies every so often.
Iqbal Habib, member secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon stressed on the importance of fields being free from the grasp of encroachers, and brought up the success of freeing the field in Dhanmondi and how effective it has been since.
He also called to free the roads, and not to ignore the priority of children, in order to build a better Bangladesh in the future.
Md Akhter Mahmud, general secretary, BIP, and Maruf Hossain, program manager, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust also spoke at the program.