mid-day editorial: Don't play the blame game at the park

May 14, 2018, 07:37 IST | Team mid day

While the girl's parents alleged that the play area is not maintained properly, the authorities claim that the handicapped section was off bounds and the parents ignored the guards' warnings

Just months after the newly revamped Kamala Nehru Park reopened, a little girl was left with a crushed thumb after she fell from a broken swing in the handicapped section. While the girl's parents alleged that the play area is not maintained properly, the authorities claim that the handicapped section was off bounds and the parents ignored the guards' warnings.

The park was reopened on February 23 this year, a little less than a year after it shut for a makeover. While the main section of the park was being renovated, the handicapped section remained shut. When the park was opened again, the children's facilities earned high praise. However, in mid-day's report on Saturday, a few parents came forward to say that the swings and see-saws were not well-maintained either.

Let us put the accent on quality at our parks. We have to remember that given the paucity of outdoor play venues for kids, there is a great rush to use parks that are available, and equipment is stretched thin because of the sheer traffic of children.

From the very beginning, the authorities need to focus on play facilities with endurance. They must also ensure that the rides are kept in top order, leaving no risk of such horrific accidents. Park authorities must keep a medical kit with basic supplies.

Having said that, children and their parents, too, need to respect park rules. They must follow instructions issued by the park officials and security. Parents must also ensure that facilities meant for differently abled kids are not used by everyone, as that defeats the purpose. Guardians have to remain alert and stop their wards if they try to access parts of the park that are not meant for them.

Blame games are counterproductive. Only quality rides, maintenance, security and respect for rules can ensure a great outdoors experience.

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