Young college students,housewives and and some serious body-builders trooped into the MCD polyclinic in Nizamuddin Basti to try out the latest range of equipment in the areas new gym. They checked out the cross-trainers and treadmills and looked forward to a healthy exercise routine starting Thursday,when the gym would open for public use.
The Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) planned the facility to fill in the gap of missing open spaces and playgrounds in the area.
The Basti unfortunately doesnt have enough playgrounds and open spaces where the residents can go for walks or play. Women in the area are hesitant to go out in the open for walks. Obesity and lack of exercise is leading to various illnesses,especially among the women. They asked me a year ago for a gymnasium, Farhad Suri,former mayor and area councillor,told Newsline.
The gym will also have a professional instructor.
Surveys showed over 150 men and 60 women in the area were keen to join the gym. In an effort to make both men and women comfortable,the timings have been kept separate 6 am to 9 am and 6 pm to 9 pm for men and 2 pm to 5 pm for women, said Nabeel Khan (21) and Suhaibuddin (23),who helped conduct the survey for AKTC. They also help AKTC conduct its regular heritage walks.
Inquiries have already started pouring in.
Anwari Begum (55),a housewife,walked in with several other middle-aged women. There are no open spaces here,not even parks,where we can go for walks. Sitting at home,we have all become obese and have several ailments. From tomorrow we will all come sharp at 3 pm,after finishing our household chores, she said.
Officials said the building had a gym earlier,but it was closed due to inadequate facilities. We have now refurbished it with additional facilities, said Suri,who will inaugurate the gym.
The gym is an opportunity to fulfill a long-standing community need and to positively engage with the youth through sports. We are also developing open spaces. A cricket pitch and parks spread over five acres have been developed, said Shveta Mathur,AKTC programme officer (urban improvements).
Registrations for the gym will begin after its inauguration.
The MCD polyclinic building also has a pathology lab,provided by the AKTC,where 30,000 tests have been conducted free of cost since its opening in 2009.