20150118_092319

 

by Dr Harshada Rajadhyaksha, B.P.T,PG.D.R. (Rehabilitation Medicine), PGD (D&N); DIRECTOR, Prakruti Sports Science & Physiotherapy Clinic Pvt Ltd

 

In this Pulsating, Vibrant, Vivacious Mumbai lie several imprisoned childhoods.
Small apartments, smaller “compounds” filled with parked cars, small pavements filled with hawkers,
noisy roads with slow-moving traffic; even the several gardens that have metamorphosed in this city
in the last few years do not allow children to cycle, play ball, or run freely. Where do these little ones
do what they are biologically programmed to do, i.e. “MOVE”?

Arguably there is more scope for organised play and learning for children today than there was a few
decades ago. More “classes” to teach them everything from sports, to creativity, to “gym” and dance
moves! But none of these can come close to what free play and unrestricted outdoor activity can
teach kids.

Children engage their whole body spontaneously in unstructured play when they are outdoors.
Running, skipping, squatting, jumping and leaping as only children can, this free play builds immense
self-confidence, maintains their flexibility and natural posture, improves balance and co-ordination,
strengthens all muscles, and builds a strong foundation for lifelong physical and mental health.
Furthermore, cycling, skipping rope, skating, etc. teaches valuable new skills, also perfecting balance.

When parents accompany their children and engage in outdoor activities with them, the benefits are
multiplied: Besides the obvious family bonding and trust-building, there is also the opportunity to
adopt new behaviours and lifestyle changes for the parents!

When several children and their families come together to engage in outdoor play, there is scope to
bring about social change! Cultural and social tolerance, support of the differently abled, assisting
senior citizens, and partaking group fitness activities can build a healthier society.

On Sundays, from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM on a small stretch of 6.5 Km, children and their families are
coming out to celebrate the outdoors. On the open road sans traffic, you can see them cycling,
skating, dancing, walking, playing ball, and even making beautiful chalk art on the roads.

The atmosphere is festive, and lively. So many families come out to enjoy the freedom of being on
the roads with their children without having to worry about their safety, that there is no room for
anyone seeking serious fitness activities. But this otherwise busy street in Mumbai is presenting to its’
citizens one of their fundamental rights, “The Freedom of Movement”.

Quietly, without anyone noticing, the project of “Equal Streets” is bringing wellness into the
community.

3 thoughts on “Equal Sundays

  • March 10, 2015 at 12:05 pm
    Permalink

    Very very good initiative . My son loves skating but he cannot practise it in this mumbai city..so every sunday i head off with him to equal streets for his skating we stay at parle east

    Reply
    • April 18, 2015 at 6:45 pm
      Permalink

      Very good initiative. I want to know where is skating conducted in equal streets

      Reply
  • April 4, 2015 at 3:39 am
    Permalink

    Dondu Sir,I second Vijay. I came to meet you palmrriiy to get acquainted with you & learn about your experiences in your pre-blogging as well as blogging days. Thanks for hosting us for around 2 hours or so, which seemed to have flown past in minutes.I sincerely thank you for your complementary words by describing me as a youngster along with Vijays & Lakshmans. I am not young by age but probably by look and definitely by thoughts.I have tried to post a couple of my posts in Tamil but Blogger’s transliteration definitely tests my patience a lot. Hence, I am not getting the urge to write my posts in Tamil. However, I intend to keep trying.I enjoy reading Tamil blogs like yours. As I told you the other day, I am very much enamored of the courage of convictions in your writings & calling a spade a spade. Hats off.Hope to keep in touch with you.Arun

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *