Every town in India has a public playground in some small lane. Put there by a long forgotten town planner and has managed to escape greedy eyes. A hard, bare area where the earth has been tamped down firmly by countless bare feet, the places under the swings and slides dented into deep trenches, with no scope for anything green to escape pounding feet and hands. The chains of the swings may end up swinging empty or a few lengths of rope may have replaced the missing wooden seat, the hand rail of the seesaw will be partially broken, the rungs of the ladder of the slide may have a few teeth missing.
Yet on any evening, there will be dozens of children there waiting their turn; in one corner there will be young men seriously swinging from the bars and twirling heavy objects, building up their muscles as much as they can on un-nutritious food.There will be several games going on in the remaining space, all overlapping one another. There will be sound and cries and lots of life.
Here in Australia, the Council strives hard to provide facilities to children. The City of Marion, part of Adelaide, an area of 55 sq km has allotted $ 7 million to improve the 89/playgrounds and parks it has. Each one of them has a play area with swings, slides, climbing equipment. The bigger parks have walking/cycling tracks. There is a bench or two to sit down and have a picnic meal. They are beautifully planned, safe, colourful and imaginative. Only the children are missing.