"There is no open space in our school to play on,"Nakib, a boy of KG II said with a melancholy note
Sports, being an integral part of life, are unfortunately ignored, due to lack of resources or of the necessary will. Sports is essential, not only for physical well-being but also for healthy mental growth, and these should be given more emphasis in case of students.
Students studying in various schools in Dhaka city today are deprived of outdoor sports facilities. Only a few schools have playgrounds.
Education is essential for human beings in order to live a standard life with respectable social status. But after education, sports are vital.
Sports lovers and enthusiastic kids like Nakib are disheartened at not being able to have sports besides their studies. What they have to console their hearts with are the indoor games. Indoor games such as chess, checkers and various puzzles are definitely helpful in building a child's ability to develop an analytic mind. But still they are no proper substitutes for outdoor sports such as cricket and football.
In the capital city, there are numerous schools, most of which are just two or three storied buildings with a boundary wall that hardly surrounds the perimeter of the building. Students spend their school years going and coming out of such schools on regulated hours, with piles of exercise books and tangled in a web of homework when not in school.
One may like to ask what percentage of total students would be interested in sports, since at a very early age they become obsessed with computer and video games. Our children in the society today are sometimes totally unaware of how it feels to participate in outdoor sports. Outdoor sports, to many, are just ideas that they could never experience in reality.
It is true that in our city we do have huge fields, which are open for all. Some of these fields have no good environment where parents would feel it safe to send their children. There even have been cases of shootouts in and around clubhouses.
Recently, on a commercial basis, many indoor sports zones have been built where various kinds of sports facilities are available such as basketball, one that is essential for physical development, and other games such as bowling, and the like. But these are mainly accessible if one is ready to pay high charges of membership as well as monthly payments. What is evident is that the scope of availing sports facilities has been made narrower. But the fundamental problem for the vast spaces required for football and cricket fields remains.
With the advent of winter, teenagers start playing badminton in the garages of residential buildings and on the streets with dead end, or on hartal days. In reply to a question one such player, Rajon, a boy of class ten of Dhanmondi area, said, "What can we do if there is no space? Our school doesn't allow playing badminton after the school hours and there are no arrangements and equipments for sports. So some of my neighbourhood friends play badminton during winter on this private street."
A recent survey in some of the schools of Dhaka city have revealed that he shocking and pitiful sight of children playing cricket with tennis ball and bat on a space of about 600 square feet to 2200 square feet approximately. The fact that Bangladesh is a progressive cricketing nation is not unknown to its citizens. Why then do we prefer to build high-rise condominiums and shopping malls when we know how much essential it is to have sufficient and secured spaces for the building of sports areas?
It is clear that our society is being driven by the motive of profit, and not welfare. Even if something were done for the sake of welfare, then on further investigation it would become clear that there is a profit motive behind it. Has the government any role to play in this respect? But, to all intents and purposes, there seems to be no such hope.