‘Government School Playground Remained Closed to Local Children for 13 Years, Administration Inaction Highlighted’


It has been 13 years so far for the Chandigarh Administration to walk the talk.
Chandigarh Administration had passed many orders pertaining to opening Government schools’ playgrounds for locally residing children, but it is yet to get fully implemented in this 114 square km area of Chandigarh.
Chandigarh has 112 government schools that have huge playgrounds. The idea was to curb the menace that usually happens during the evening play time of kids in the local parks. So, earlier in the year 2010, the idea was initiated by the then Municipal Commissioner to open a Government School playground where local kids could play after school time. Recently a complaint was lodged by a locality in sector 39, where kids were playing football in the park and accidentally hurt an aged woman. Arun Sood, who was mayor of Chandigarh then, had also moved the proposal in the year 2016 to install floodlights in 17 government schools. In 2012-13, the Municipal Corporation and UT administration had proposed to open the Government Senior Secondary School of Sector 21 on a pilot basis.
The proposal failed to take off as the administration had decided to provide guards and proper fencing which wasn’t done then. Facing flakor not being able to work on their pilot project, the Municipal Corporation in the year 2018 decided to open playgrounds at 17 government schools for the children, though most of them remain out of bounds for children.
As per the guidelines, two guards were to be provided by the administration and a physical education teacher by the school. A first-aid kit was also said to be made available. The proposal is yet to take off. Anup Gupta, Chandigarh Mayor told TDG that there are huge playgrounds of Government schools that shall be used by local residing kids after school.
This proposal was floated many times but not yet implemented. He further told TDG that he would speak to the administrator on this to fully start all government schools. Gurbax Rawat, Area Councillor of Sector 40 told TDG that it has been an issue here. There are only a few schools that are open for local kids and that too after area counselor intervention. There should be no hurdles for local kids to use government school playgrounds except if there is any construction going on within the school premises. Director (school education) Harsuhinder Singh Brar told TDG that whenever there is a demand from local counselors to open government school playgrounds for their area kids, we open them.
There are some sectors where kids play during evening time. Abhisar Sharma, a resident of Sector 39 said, “School authorities often create a fuss in opening the school’s playground stating that the school property may get damaged. Here, school management asks to pay Rs 25 if any kid wishes to play in their playground”.