Uncared for, Kurigram children's park now unappealing to kids
Kurigram Shishu Udyan (children's park) has remained in an awful state due to lack of repair and proper maintenance for years.
With lost flowers and greenery and worn out and damaged rides and other recreational equipment, the park no longer attracts children while a section of unscrupulous locals have turned it into a virtual grazing field.
During a recent visit to the park, this correspondent saw some boys sitting under trees and a man grazing cattle inside the park. A jungle has appeared in the south-east part of the park.
“As there is no good facility to use to the recreational items, we are just taking rest here,” said Abdullah Al Sayed, a class nine student of Kurigram Government High School in the town.
Set up in 1988 on over one acre of land behind Kurigram deputy commissioner's office, the park was later handed over to Kurigram municipality for maintenance, said municipality official Anwar Ali.
That time riding tools including cradles and ladders, umbrella sheds over sitting places, spring water and other equipment offered recreational facilities, especially for children. There were also fruit bearing trees including mango. Children could pass time amid great merriment, enjoying the rides and having relishing bites of fruits, locals said.
During the early years of the park, the municipality authorities repaired it twice. But in last several years, it hardly saw any repair, said Anwar Ali.
“In absence of any guard during the last three years, several pieces of equipment including steel-made umbrellas were stolen. My daughter earlier went to play in the park. But now she avoids it due to its shabby condition. Often naughty youths gather in the park,” said engineer Salma Nasrin, who lives near the park.
A few children were hurt while riding the broken and worn out equipment, said locals.
“Children learn without being taught by play. It involves doing, exploring, discovering, failing and succeeding. Now, there is not enough space and equipment for playing in the newly set up educational institutions. The municipality authority should take steps to repair the children's park and equip it with sufficient sports materials,” Prof Shamsul Islam Khandaker, who lives in a government staff quarter near the park.
Kurigram municipality Mayor Md Nur Islam Nuru said, “I have learnt about the situation. I have taken a plan to repair the children's park. Steps will be taken in the coming year if fund is available.”