Street kids get a park of their own

Street kids get a park of their own
Sumati Yengkhom
[20 Apr, 2007 l 0845 hrs ISTlTIMES NEWS NETWORK]

KOLKATA: An adventure park exclusively for the underprivileged children has come up in the city. Tucked away on the southern fringes, Monobitan will open its gates on Thursday.

An initiative of Child In Need Institute (CINI), the fiveacre park near Thakurpurkur has different play areas for children of different ages. While Badhan Hara, a lush green play area for children upto six years has a merry-goround, sea-saw and swings, Bana Mallika caters to bigger children. It has facilities like multi-climbing structure, cycling trek, roller skating pitches and tunnels where the children can play hide and seek. "While working with more than 50,000 street children in Kolkata I realised that they were living in a concrete jungle with no open space to play. The underprivileged children do not have access to the numerous parks in the city. That is how the idea was conceived," said CINI director Samir Chaudhuri.

Complete with boating and picnic facilities, the Tarzan tree houses will be a huge attraction for the children.

"I love the flowers here," said Joy Chhetri. The 10-yearold boy and other inmates of a home for the destitute were brought to the park on Wednesday to give them a feel of the sheer joy of nature. "I have heard about parks but nobody took me to one. I love the cycles here," said Milan Das.

The nine-year-old orphan was picked up from the Sealdah station where he used to beg for a living.

CINI has tied up with NGOs that work for the welfare of street urchins, orphans and abandoned children. These NGOs will bring the children to the park. An openair theatre at the campus will provide a talent-honing ground for these kids.

Residential training facility for children, multimedia conference hall with catering provisions are some other facilities here. CINI will lend these facilities occasionally to corporate houses and schools.

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