The Uttarakhand High Court has taken significant steps following a video released by renowned cricketer Virat Kohli, where he highlighted the critical issue of inadequate playgrounds for children. In response, the High Court has summoned both state and central governments to provide explanations within a two-week timeframe.
A division bench, presided over by Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rakesh Thapliyal, has issued notices to various officials, including the sports secretary of Uttarakhand, the urban development secretary, and the secretary of youth affairs and sports in the Government of India.
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Of particular interest to the court is gaining insight into the policies and measures enacted by the government to ensure that children have access to playgrounds. The next hearing on this matter is scheduled for October 9.
In his video, Virat Kohli engaged with children to shed light on the prevalent challenges in the realm of sports. The High Court took note of the distressing fact that many children lack access to suitable playgrounds in various locations.
In addition to Virat Kohli’s video, concerned children took the initiative to write a letter to the Chief Justice. They highlighted how the scarcity of space for their ‘gully’ (street) cricket activities disrupts not only their games but also the peace of local residents.
Recognizing the pivotal role of playgrounds in the holistic development of children, the High Court has called upon the government to present its policies regarding the establishment of dedicated play areas for children.
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Furthermore, the court has sought information regarding any existing initiatives, particularly under the Khelo India program, that focus on constructing playgrounds to facilitate the physical growth and development of children.
The court underscored the significance of sports in enhancing physical fitness and stressed the need for appropriate infrastructure. It brought attention to the fact that children today are increasingly immersed in the digital world, including computers, mobile phones, and laptops. This trend can lead to a lack of physical activity, potentially hampering both physical and mental growth.
Addressing this issue is vital to promote a healthier and more balanced lifestyle for children, and the intervention of the Uttarakhand High Court aims to tackle this pressing concern head-on.