The city’s first sensory park and garden is now open for children :
Namma Chennai’s first inclusive park for children is here and was made a reality by the Greater Chennai Corporation and Smart City Limited and the Disability Rights Alliance, Kilikili and City Works. Chennai is known for its parks in different areas. But this is the first time, Chennai has got an inclusive infinity park located in Santhome.
The park offers many new and innovative ways of meeting the play and leisure needs of children with and without disabilities. Since play needs children to evolve as they grow, the play space has been zoned in three distinct areas – a space for the tiny tots, one for the older child and one for the adolescent.
The park is a sensory paradise offering children sensorial experiences to engage them – has a herb garden, around which is a modified swing, merry go round, and climbers and is a safe space for kids with all abilities to play and have fun. There’s also a basketball court constructed at a slightly lower level so children in wheelchairs can play.
There are markers around pathways to help navigate the visually impaired and there are a few quiet spots for kids to hang out. We hear that games like snakes and ladders are available and new games will be added.
The play areas have rubberized flooring, which enhances the safety of children, with their greater shock-absorbing capacity. Pathways are lined with tactile markers to facilitate easy navigation for those with visual impairment. A toilet that meets accessibility norms is also constructed.
For children who may be overwhelmed with the buzz around (such as children with autism), there are quiet corners with table games such as Aadupuliyatam, Kattamvilayattu and snakes and ladder. A sheltered space at the center would offer shade and rest for those who need it.
Bringing art into space is a playful mural that is interactive, which brightens the park. In addition, there is a wall at the entrance made with tiles, hand-painted by children with disabilities. Careful attention to detail is all it takes to make a simple play space inclusive for all children.