Bengaluru: To Give Kids Their Childhood Back, This Group Has Been Fighting To Free A Playground
Sumanti Sen Karnataka
February 13th, 2019 / 6:12 PM
Fighting against those in power has long been a big challenge for all those heroes who have dared to do so. Such battles are always difficult, but heroes are heroes for a reason. They do not believe in giving up.
Ramakrishna Nagar playground in Nandini Layout in the West Part of Bengaluru was a place of recreation for children from several schools. Adults know the emotion which is often attached to playgrounds. During school and after school, the soft green grass has been our constant companion and the trees and birds our friends. It would not be an exaggeration to say that these playgrounds have been our second home, an abode of comfort, love and care, a means to be in touch with nature.
But Ramakrishna Nagar playground, which is about 40 years old, does not look the same anymore. Its green grass has been replaced with large cavities. It is full of mud and dirt and children do not come to play anymore. Spring has left the Selfish Giant’s garden.
What happened to the playground?
In 2017, Ramakrishna Nagar playground, which is originally a Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) property, was sold off by BDA in three parts — One to an MP called B. N. Chandrappa, one to a dairy organization in Tumkur and another to a religious organization called Mahalakshmipura Brahmana Sabha. The property is worth 50 crores but has been sold off at less than 60 lakhs.
Chetan Ahimsa, a Sandalwood actor and resident of Bengaluru, is one of the many people who refused to sit idle.
“Many of those who are protesting, have grown up playing in this park. We get a glimpse of our childhood every time we look at it. Just because these people have power, they have snatched away this place from all the children who came to play here regularly, and the children have a right to do so. This has disrupted their social life, their regular physical activities and of course their mental peace. For a huge number of children, this playground was a place of relief and joy. Several playgrounds have been hijacked the same way, for the selfish needs of those in power. We have decided to fight for the children’s rights,” Chetan said in a conversation with The Logical Indian.
Since the last one and a half years, a group called Ramakrishna Nagar Playground Protection Committee, of which Chetan is a part, have been fighting to return the playground to its children.
“We have met the Urban Development Minister and local MPs and MLAs. We have staged protests in front of BDA. We gathered several people and talked about what is right and what is not. Many children too have been a part of our protests. The park is in a mess. Holes have been dug all across it so that the children cannot play. How insensitive can people be? We will not sit idle and watch nature and childhood being destroyed by those in power. It will possibly be a long fight, with a lot of hurdles. Be we are determined to go on until our efforts bear fruit,” said Lokesh Bahujan, another active protester.
The group has vowed to go on with their protest until spring returns to the garden. For over a year now, these people have done everything in their power to stop these organizations from using the land for their needs. There are, indeed, several other ways to cater to one’s requirements rather than snatching away a kid’s childhood.
The Logical Indian extends support to and appreciates Chetan, Lokesh and their group for their selfless effort.
Written by : Sumanti Sen
Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi