Children play cricket against the backdrop of monsoon clouds in Ahmedabad,
Children play cricket against the backdrop of monsoon clouds in Ahmedabad.Reuters File

Five children living in an apartment complex in Bengaluru approached the city police last Sunday to file a formal complaint against their neighbour for denying them their "fundamental right" to play.

According to a report in The Times of India, the children, aged between 7 and 13, approached the Subramanyapura police to complain against their neighbour after she threw away their cricket ball and seized their wickets for playing on the apartment terrace.

The children initially used to play on the ground floor of the apartment located in Padmanabhanagar but had to stop as the apartment's car owners feared the children would damage the cars parked there.  

Finally, on Friday (4 September), the children found a good spot at the apartment terrace and started playing, but right in the middle of their game, a lady from the neighbourhood came shouting and threw away their ball, the children narrated.

Akash Mounbhargav, one of the children, said the lady told them not to show "bloody attitude" when they asked her to return their ball and wickets. "We are five children, how much noise can we make?" he asked.

"We don't have anywhere else to play," Yash Aradhya, 13, a student of Bishop Cotton Boys' School, told the daily.

Two days later, on Sunday, the children, with the help of a parent, approached the local police station. The police, who were initially surprised, accepted the complaint and said they would warn the lady. 

The issue has once again brought to the fore the growing problem of lack of playing space for children in cities such as Bengaluru. While the number of high-rises in the city is steadily climbing, the play area for children is shrinking.

The children from the apartment in Padmanabhanagar had first approached the building association for a play area, but were told that instead of playing outdoor games, they should play indoor games. 

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