Dhaka Bureau: There is an acute shortage of recreational facilities and playgrounds for children and adolescents in urban areas of Bangladesh including Dhaka. However, the shortage of such child-friendly spaces is most acute for children in informal settlements, including slums in urban areas. Due to the lack of access to playgrounds and recreational facilities, which are essential for children to grow up in the slum areas of the capital Dhaka, many of the children and adolescents have become involved in various crimes. With the effective involvement of development partners with government initiatives, it is possible to create recreational opportunities for these children by creating small-scale, but child-friendly spaces in slum areas. However, in this case, it is possible to ensure effective and sustainable use of the space by taking into account the needs of low-income people in the planning of such facilities, adopting inclusive design, sustainable management and conservation strategies and involving local communities and councils. These comments were made by the speakers at the “Partnership Planning Dialogue” titled “Planning of Child-Friendly Recreational Spaces for Marginal Children of Urban Informal Settlements” organized by Institute for Planning and Development (IPD), Save the Children Bangladesh, Bhumijo and SIP today (January 31).
The speakers who participated in the dialogue said that although it is possible to create a range of small and child-friendly games and entertainment suitable for children at low cost in informal settlements including Dhaka city and slums in urban areas of Bangladesh, if some plans are made for playgrounds in upper and middle class areas in the city and children in slum areas Remaining out of initiative and effort. Many development partners including community-based organizations are interested in supporting various city organizations if the local government, city corporation, ward council come forward. At the same time the people of slums and informal areas often express their demands and desire to be involved in such initiatives. As a result, plans and initiatives to make such child-friendly areas must be taken now, otherwise we will not be able to reach the target of building sustainable cities and settlements.
Participating in the dialogue, Professor Aktar Mahmud of Jahangirnagar University said that after the implementation of development projects of many public areas and entertainment facilities in Dhaka city, why the previous users are no longer able to use these playgrounds and parks freely is the responsibility of the professionals involved in the design and implementation of such projects. Must take responsibility.
Executive Director of IPD Professor Adil Muhammad Khan said that a plan needs to be formulated now to create at least one child-friendly area in all slum areas of Dhaka city. If there is a sincere interest of the government, it is possible to ensure entertainment and normal development of marginalized children by creating such sustainable and effective projects with emphasis on nature-based design at low cost.
Farhana Rashid, Chief Executive Architect of Bhumijo, presented the possible design of the playground used for children in Bauniyabandh area of Mirpur in the dialogue by Save the Children and IPD.
Participating in the dialogue, the town manager of UNDP, Maruf Hossain, said that children’s playgrounds are being walled to restrict access in many cases. Such a design largely destroys the universality of the mass sphere.
Director of Save the Children (Humanitarian). Mostak Hossain said, it is possible to make the slum area sustainable only if it can be designed in a child-friendly way through environmentally friendly and inclusive participation.
Maksud Hashem, city planner of Dhaka North City Corporation, said that there have been several positive changes in the creation of public spaces in Dhaka city. The City Corporation has a sincere interest in creating recreational facilities and spaces for the marginalized children of the city. Child-friendly spaces can be effectively created in low-income communities with the participation of local councils and allied organisations.
Professor Dr. Gaus Peary of WBB Trust, Afsana Asad of SIP, Director of Save the Children Rifat Bin Sattar, Abu Sayem Arif of BRAC-UDP, Kamrun Nahar Ahmed of SCI, Ashish Das Gupta of World Vision Bangladesh also spoke in the program moderated by Adil Muhammad Khan. etc.