ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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No Child’s Play

Children’s right to play depends on their access to parks, grounds and open spaces. Delhi’s open spaces are becoming increasingly inaccessible to children as they are being converted to dumping or parking sites and residents’ associations prohibit children from playing within the housing colonies. Meanwhile, the number of vehicles in the capital keeps increasing rapidly.

The right to play was first recognised in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. It was further strengthened in 1989 by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Article 31 of the CRC mentions the right of the child to rest, leisure, play and recreational activities. Besides being the state’s legal obligation as a signatory to the convention, playing is crucial for the overall development and social integration of a child. It enhances creativity, skills, physical health and the overall quality of childhood.

Accessibility to open spaces is crucial in ensuring children’s right to play. Children use playgrounds, fields, lawns, gardens, verandas, backyards, aangans (courtyards), pavements, streets, etc, as playing spaces. However, these spaces are shrinking as a result of rapid urbanisation and our current model of development.

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