Our leaders and administrators have left no stone unturned to ensure that development taking place in the nation is inclusive and that no section of society is left untouched despite the fierce pace at which it is taking place.
Children’s needs, particularly, have been given primacy, and rightfully so. After all, they are the future of our society and will take forward our proud legacy. If we don’t set the right example for them, we will likely impede the development and growth that is the result of many generations of hard work.
“Car = Development” is a well-known mathematical equation. “Bigger and more gas-guzzling car = Bigger development” is another one of mankind’s universally known mathematical equations. With the increasing number of vehicles on the road thanks to the all round development, the city traffic is already so chaotic that children are unable to cycle around on their own. To ensure that the hard-earned fruits of development are not dissipated, administrators have suspended all attempts at intervention through regulation or management of traffic. Children can heave a sigh of relief as the dark days when their parents could ask them to run errands on their bicycle, or run across to their friends’ house, or cycle to the playground, are over. They can now be driven around in the comfort of a car, a privilege denied to earlier generations.
It is a testament to the vision of our leaders that the playground space lying unused since children are not able to access it, is being used for even more development. That of gigantic malls. Malls – temples of a developing nation. Malls – the magnificent testament to man’s insatiable desire to buy more without need.
Instead of the rough and tumble of the outdoors, children can spend the entire day (probably their entire life soon) in the bowels of these magnificent creations called malls, a milestone in the development of mankind. Why even try to go to the playground when you can drive a bumper car, or skate in the temperature controlled confines of a mall. And dig into fresh fast-food when hunger pangs strike.
And development does not stop here. Education has got a huge fillip as a result of development of malls. Plastic models of flora and fauna, almost like real, complimented by audio-visual presentations, are being used to teach children about the world outside. They can touch a model and feel what an ear of corn might look like. It is hoped that this education will help them cope with the world and avoid nasty surprises like coming across a real ear of corn in real life. Paintball competitions are being organised inside malls to teach children the important skills of strategy, attack and defence, learnt on the playground or on the street by earlier generations. Without malls where would these skills be learned?
The Opposition has picked-up a few stray cases of children playing outdoors reported in some sections of the media, and blamed the government for half-hearted implementation of a key initiative. The government has responded swiftly and promised to bring in legislation to make it mandatory for industries to locate polluting plants near open playgrounds so that these grounds become unplayable for children for ever. Most readers would recognise that industry’s ability in this respect is second to none, the dead river passing through the capital city being an example of quick and effective implementation. Till such time the grounds become unplayable, security guards will be deployed to ensure that they are used only for inclusive developmental purposes like marriage parties and religious discourses.