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No space to play

  • Published at 12:05 am December 6th, 2019
Playground children Field spaces cricket boys
Photo: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

They must ensure the presence of playgrounds and recreational spaces

As Dhaka gets more and more crowded, with unplanned or poorly thought out construction work taking place all over the city, children end up as collateral damage.

The younger generation now has little to no option available to them for outdoor recreational activities -- something that is absolutely pivotal to their well-being.

There is plenty of science to back up the importance of play: Children and youth need to engage in play and physical activity in order to develop cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally.

In fact, so important is playing, that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights has recognized the activity as a basic right for all children.

Children of this country, particularly our overpopulated urban areas, are being deprived of this basic right simply because there is a lack of adequate playgrounds, and the ones that do exist are not safe.

Our city corporations, in that case, have their work cut out of them: They must ensure the presence of playgrounds and recreational spaces throughout the city, distributed in an equitable manner. Playing, after all, should not be a privilege reserved for the children of the rich.

Secondly, and this applies to not just children but people of all ages, it must be ensured that those using playground facilities or open areas in the city are not harassed, assaulted, or threatened in any way. It is a sad reality that park areas are often taken up by local influential people, or goons, who use intimidation to exclude others from the premises.

It is time for the authorities to step up, and start caring about the psychosocial development of children, because one day these children will grow up and make the big decisions for the nation.