MAINTENANCE FOR PLAYGROUND BHAKTAPUR
We renovated the playground at the Siddhi Memorial Hospital in Bhaktapur.
We kept the playground in a safe and good condition for the children. Now, the Siddhi Memorial Foundation/Hospital will maintain it with partners. We, from SRF, have shifted our focus more towards education. We have faith in the people who will keep the playground good and safe from now on and a part of our team is still very close to check on how things will go from here.
Report from our people in Nepal Playground developments and improvement at Siddhi Memorial Hospital during 2013 with help from interns and the Sairam Foundation:
The old playground at Siddhi Memorial Hospital was established around 10 years ago and the passage of time had made the equipment dangerous and unpopular.
More than 100 children attend the hospital as patients each day, and many more come with their families or live nearby.
However the play area was rarely used. It consisted of two sets of broken swings, two slides, and a series half rubber tires. The metal frame of one set of swings suddenly broke in two this year because it was so rusty while children were playing on it.
(Swing frame suddenly broke dangerously due to rusting and being removed by SMF staff)
This year a group of German medical volunteers generously decided to improve the play area in their spare time. They bought some paint and repainted the slides. They also located some new swings and fitted them with the help of hospital staff. They also helped clear the edges of the site of building material left over from the hospital’s last expansion.
The play area became more popular straight away and there is no longer enough equipment to cope with the interest. However the equipment is also still potentially dangerous.
(Children went straight on to a slide newly painted in the Tata company colors by the interns and one of the interns and SMF staff clearing the edges of the playground).
Bhaktapur does not have any similar children’s play areas that are used by the public.
Children often play in the street with old rubbish bags and deflated tires. They play in dirty and unsanitary conditions and on roads that are busy with traffic and do not have pavements.
Now the children who come to the hospital choose to play in the healthy and safe environment of the play area, where they can be supervised and safe from motorbikes and pollution.
(Children using all the old equipment after it was painted and the dirty and dangerous road outside the gates that is typical of the sort children play in)
Children from the nearby school now throng the play area during their break. The children count each other turns on the swings and do not let each other have more than ‘20’ so that everyone can get their turn.
The new work on the play area has already created interest and children have been playing games on the mounds of clay and sand used in the construction.
(Children counting turns on the swings and also playing ‘long jump’ on the clay and sand)
The new play area will be an excellent addition to the hospital which will give children a healthy, safe and friendly place to play, away from the danger and dirt of the surrounding streets, thanks to the Sairam Foundation. It will encourage them to regard hospitals and medical facilities as an enjoyable place to visit. This is vitally important because our doctors treat many cases where parents and children have delayed medical treatment until an advanced stage.
The new play area will also encourage physical activity in an area with very limited playing facilities but growing health problems related to inactivity and pollution.
The generous addition of the play is another step forward making this essential health service a truly ‘Child Friendly Hospital’ that meets the growing demand for specialist child care in a district without dedicated Government provision.