A Day for Children to Celebrate the Right to Play
For 13 years old Farzana Akhter, it was a different experience, “we always see boys and girls playing separately and girls feel shy to play in the playground, but it is the first time I participated in such a competition where boys and girls have played together. Though I did not win any prize, I am just happy to participate as it was beyond my expectation.” She took part in the cycling race arranged to observe the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace (IDSDP) in Satkhira District.
IDSDP celebration was arranged by the Good Cause Campaign (GCC) project of Save the Children in Bangladesh on April 7, 2018 in Satkhira and Rajshahi district. The day is globally observed for encouraging citizens to learn, innovate and promote the ways that sport or play can help countries, communities and individuals to live in a peaceful and prosperous way. The project observed the day to strengthen social ties for children’s ‘Right to Play’ as well as breaking the retroactive social norms where adolescent girls do not get equal opportunity to play.
Children of Satkhira and Rajshahi organized rally, play competition and other activities to celebrate the day. There were discussion and prize distribution ceremony as well. The Child Club members of the project also performed theatre for the sensitization of community people on benefits of play for child development irrespective of sex and social status.
In discussion session, it was reflected that there is a lack of awareness on the importance of play and recreations. Play is considered as a luxury, not a right of children. Stakeholders including District Sports Officer, Upazila Women Vice Chairperson, Upazila Secondary Education Officer, Union Parisad Chairman and other UP members committed that they will create children’s playground and will inspire children and guardians so that children especially girls can enjoy playing.