Ever since I learnt to walk and talk, I spent countless hours playing with the other kids from the neighbourhood. Outdoor playtime was all I could think of all day.
It started off with playing marbles by the streetside. After starting school, my playtime moved over to the local playgrounds. I remember being chased by my mom for returning late from the field. She would come and grab me by the ears, dragging me home to do my homework.
My teachers used to say that I would fail at my Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam because my mind was always in the playground. That did not stop me from enjoying the thrills and vigour of playtime with my mates.
I passed my SSC, then HSC – all the while continuing to be my version of a Maradona or a Wasim Akram, depending on the game.
Playgrounds instil practical wisdom in us that books or YouTube could never. Playing sports helps children learn to control their emotions and channel negative feelings in a positive way.
It also helps children to develop patience and understand that it can take a lot of practice to improve both their physical skills and what they do in school, according to child psychologists.
Kids learn to make new friends, deal with the disappointment of defeats and most of all, have fun while learning valuable life skills. It is the duty of the civil authority to ensure that our young ones have sufficient space to play and grow as balanced human beings.
And it is up to us, as grownups, to fight for the rights of our future generations. We want a healthy, happy and proactive populace to lead our nation to the future.
Taking away the playgrounds in a modern urbanised Bangladesh will only produce self-absorbed and zombified youth who are frail in body and mind. Is this the ideal nation we fought to realise? Our freedom fighting ancestors would probably disagree.
Enamul Kabir started photography in 2013 out of his passion. His works have been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally. He has won several awards including Sony National Award, San Francisco Street Photo Award, Brussels Street photo Award, Australian Street Photo Award, and Urban Photo Award.