Mumbai’s senior citizens request BMC for playgrounds with recreation equipment

Mumbai: Why should kids have all the fun, that’s what senior citizens of Colaba are asking. Bored of just sitting on plain benches, senior citizens want a playground of their own now. A group of Colaba residents, led by citizen corporator Makarand Narvekar, has moved a proposal in the BMC to have playgrounds for oldies fitted with equipment for exercise and recreation. The plan is based on similar playgrounds for oldies in countries like China and Spain.

While the BMC operates playgrounds for children, it has Nana-Nani parks at several places across the city for senior citizens. However, these residents say that just benches to sit and a walking track are not enough. The proposal has been mooted through a notice of motion in the civic general body (GB) meeting. The plan has also been backed by citizen’s group My Dream Colaba (MDC).

“The BMC’s Nana-Nani parks have no facility. They just have benches and walking tracks. We have demanded that senior citizens should have a place where they can exercise and play some games too. The BMC has special facility for children, so why not for their grandparents? If there is a facility to exercise, they will be fitter too,” Narvekar said in his proposal.

Civic officials said that fitness equipment could be installed in existing parks for senior citizens. “This plan can be explored. We already have parks for senior citizens and they are well maintained. We can install some special equipment which can be used by the elderly. We have a policy for senior citizens and this aspect can be accommodated in that,” said a senior civic official. Another official said that proposal was likely to get a go-ahead.

Narvekar pointed out that countries like China and Spain had already created such playgrounds for oldies. The concept of having an exclusive hangout for senior citizens or Nana-Nani parks was mooted by late Shiv Sena leader Pramod Navalkar in the 1990s when he was the state’s culture minister.

“Existing nana-nani parks can easily be converted into senior citizen playgrounds,” Narvekar added.