While schools affiliated to the Central government are celebrating Children’s Day this year as child cleanliness day, a number of organisations in Bangalore and other cities in the country are marking November 14 as the start of the Let’s Play week to highlight the crisis of shrinking play spaces for children in modern cities in the country.
As part of the Let’s Play week promoted by the International Play Association, India, temporary play spaces will be created around the city between November 14 and November 16 by hundreds of volunteers drawn from over a dozen organisations.
Play spaces will be created around the homes of children, parks, terraces, basements, open plots or any space safe for a child to play for a few hours to celebrate play and highlight the importance of play for the well-being and healthy development of children everywhere.
“A silent epidemic is threatening to take away the most natural avenue children have for their healthy growth and development. The silent epidemic is the shrinking of play spaces for children, in terms of time, importance and physical space for play,’’ says Dr Naveen Thomas of Headstreams one of the NGOs involved with the program in Bangalore. “Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. It is important for healthy brain development,’’ he said.
Apart from the International Play Association (IPA)-India and Headstreams, the program is being promoted by Snehadhara, the Indian Institute of Psychology and Research (IIPR), Joy of Giving, ESAF, Concerned for Working Children (CWC) and other organisations.
In Bangalore Let’s Play events are being held on November 15 at three locations where volunteers will set up play spaces for children.