Hyderabad: Hundreds of city residents and sports persons staged a protest and formed a human chain on Sunday at the Gymkhana Grounds to protect it from turning into a ‘concrete jungle’. Numerous children, who joined the protest, questioned where they would play if their ground was converted.
It was a busy day on the ground at 8 am for most of the players, as a private coaching institute was conducting selections for football players, but when some of the protestors started their slogans, most of the players who were standing in line for the registration joined voluntarily and turned the gathering into a crowd. Anticipating that their participation would make a difference and the ground would be saved, the protestors also allowed them to participate in the agitation.
A ninth class student, who regularly visited the ground said, “We have been playing in this ground for the last couple of years, this is our playground. This is one of the best options we have. I dream to participate in the Olympics one day, as I was inspired by the very same players, who made their dreams come true from this ground. We can’t be denied that right.”
“Most of the schools in the city do not have a proper ground. Where do they go, if these open spaces are also lost? Physical exercise is necessary for overall development of students. Thousands of players are actively using this ground for various sports activities, they need to be considered as well,” Mr L. Rajender, Captain for the Indian Baseball Team said.
It’s not enough to acknowledge players who perform well by giving them government jobs and houses, it’s also equally important to understand the needs of upcoming players at the grassroot level and to provide amenities for them, added Mr Rajender.
Many citizens in the area were also worried about the reducing groundwater level and greenery in Marredpally and adjacent areas. “If the open spaces are filled with buildings, where would the water seep in? Because of these lung spaces, we have a two to three degrees difference in the maximum temperatures, however, when these spaces are gone, our temperatures would rise,” Mr Vijay Mohan of Save Bison Polo Joint Action Committee said.