Nainital: Taking suo motu cognisance of a video released by cricketer Virat Kohli on lack of playgrounds for children, the Uttarakhand High Court on Monday sought a reply from the state and central governments on the matter in two weeks. A division bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rakesh Thapliyal issued notices to sports secretary Uttarakhand, urban development secretary and youth affairs and sports secretary, Government of India, among others. The court has asked as to what policy has been implemented by the government to provide playgrounds for children. The matter will be heard next on October 9. Kohli had released a video in which, while interacting with some children, he unearthed the ground realities in the field of sports. Children have been deprived of playgrounds at many places, the high court observed.
Some children had also written a letter to the chief justice that while they play 'gully' (street) cricket, the lack of space disrupts their game as well as peace of residents. Noting that playgrounds are essential for children, the high court has asked the government to present its policy regarding development of playing fields for children. The court also sought whether there are any schemes under Khelo India programme where playgrounds must be built for physical growth and development of children. The court said sports improve physical fitness and it requires infrastructure. These days children are spending their time on computer, mobile phone, and laptops, among others, it said. Lack of physical activity leads to lack of physical development and deficiency in mental growth, the court observed.