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Children under lockdown : Gardens wear a deserted look amid abandoned swings and idle slides

SANDEEP CHAVAN

NASHIK :

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A garden which remains an ideal amusement place on earth for children especially during summer vacation, this time wore a deserted look and brought misery for kids as the present  coronavirus situation has put them under a house arrest.

Children’s parks that once had naughty children prancing and giggling around have now fallen silent with only an occasional chirping of birds.

At many gardens in the city, the swing chains are knotted together to keep them from being used while other pieces of play equipment are lying unused amid signboards displayed under the authority of the dy commissioner (garden department), Nashik, cautioning that the gardens are closed to the public due to COVID-19 and as per the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

All the children’s parks/gardens in the entire city have been lying abandoned since the last week of March as practically the entire world is under lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The evidence so far suggests that children are less vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus, but they can still be infected and can spread the disease to other vulnerable groups. Considering the fact that children are not immune to Covid-19, the government has closed all the gardens/children’s parks, amusement parks and playgrounds, urging them to stay indoors, follow personal hygiene and social distancing till situation improves and normalises.

These parks will have to wait a little longer to regain their old charm as children return with their peals of merry laughter.

We have no proposal or even thinking of opening of gardens for kids as there’s a high risk and children are sensitive to infectious diseases. It is difficult for children to follow social distancing while playing. We are strictly adhered to the government guidelines on this. The NMC owns 525 gardens in its limits employing 142 workers to look after day to day gardening such as watering to lawns and plants.

– Shivaji Amle, dy municipal commissioner, garden and tree authority department, Nashik.

For the last 57 days due to the lockdown, children are stuck in homes. This has imposed several restrictions on their natural playing spirit, high enthusiasm, use of energy. This is causing stress and anxiety among children. Parents need to encourage them for a 30-minute work out daily. Must reduce their screen time and get involved them in school studies and other activities that help develop mental and physical growth.

–  Dr Dhananjay Sangle, pediatrician.

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