Although Vaishali Sector 4 residents are running from pillar to post to draw attention of Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation to pathetic condition of the Central Park, several locals and children from the area have decided to devote two hours a day to maintain the park.
The initiative, especially by a group of children, has infused a sense of optimism among the residents.
For a fortnight, children from Sector 4 have banded together and planted hundreds of saplings, grass and even placed the old tree guards to protect the newly planted trees. The park now has fresh series of plantation including Ashoka, Benjamin, Palm and other varieties.
“This is the only park available for us in the vicinity. So, we have decided to devote at least two hours a day and take up plantation by ourselves. It is because if we don’t maintain the park now, its condition will only deteriorate. So our first priority is to maintain green surroundings,” said Keshav Chauhan, a Class 9 student.
Other children in the locality, who study in Class 6-10, have grouped together and vowed to maintain their park till its major portion is covered with plantation.
“It is our resolution that each of the children who planted saplings will adopt the plant to take care of them. We are watering them each day and keeping an eye that the trees don’t get damaged. On the patches where we have undertaken plantation, we have tied up rope and the visitors are not allowed to move in. We have also added fertiliser to the soil ourselves,” said Shipra Panda, another student.
Even while the students are set to appear for their upcoming examinations, they have carved out a schedule and cut down on their play time to devote quality time in the park, focusing on its redevelopment.
“Maintain park first and play later is our idea now. If our park is not maintained, there is no point in visiting it. Even during the examination schedule and studies, our parents have allowed us to move out for over an hour so that park doesn’t face neglect any more. It has also helped us in understanding the issue of protecting environment,” said Saswat Mishra, a Class 6 student.
The children have appealed to the corporation to immediately take up redevelopment of their park. They said that swings installed in the park must be repaired and more dustbins should also be placed so that there is no littering around.
“A group of children always keeps an eye that no visitors to the park face injury while walking on broken jogging track and the pathways. We will continue to take care of the park till the corporation delivers promised facilities,” said Naman Arora, another student.