| The site for the proposed park at Sahid Nagar in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, March 28: Special kids in the state capital can expect a special gift if plans of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) become a reality.
Joining hands with Sahid Nagar Socio-cultural Society and the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), the BMC is all set to redesign a park in Sahid Nagar area to exclusively suit the entertainment needs of wheelchair-bound children. Once the makeover is complete, kids can enjoy the rides without having to get off their wheelchairs.
While the boundary wall and ramps at the entrance would be constructed by the BMC, the local cultural association and IAP would be responsible for other constructions.
Local councillor Padmanabh Dash said: “The park is originally owned by the general administration department and BMC is the caretaker. However, according to the proposal, the cultural society, IAP and the BMC have agreed to develop the park in public-private partnership (PPP) mode. Work on the park is expected to start this year.’’
Senior members of the cultural society and IAP said once BMC constructs the boundary wall and ramps at the entrance, the renovation of the area would be taken care. The national body of IAP has shown interest to provide funds. Besides, charitable organisations and pharmaceutical companies would be approached to provide additional funds.
“The design inside the park will showcase the best aspects of Orissa’s cultural traditions and history. Leading designers, who have created venues such as Ramoji Film City near Hyderabad, will place miniature artefacts. We have already started consulting architects, as the rides have to accommodate the beneficiaries along with their wheelchairs. Even adults confined to wheelchairs have also shown interest to be included in the project, so a special enclosure will also be made for them,’’ said a leading paediatrician of the city and member of IAP.
IAP sources said the facility would be an exclusive one in the entire eastern India. After getting BMC’s approval it will be completed within six to 12 months.
Apart from rides, the special kids with mental and physical disabilities will also have the option to get physiotherapy sessions from professionals while playing inside the park. The sessions will be available for a nominal fee.
“We have already started the preliminary round of talks with institutes such as the Swami Vivekananda National Institute of Rehabilitation and Training. House surgeons from the institute will be available for the sessions inside the park once the facility will be ready,’’ said an IAP member.
“However, entry of normal kids will be conditional as they should have optimum care for special kids while playing inside,’’ a member of the cultural society clarified.