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Is Bangalore a good place to bring up a child?

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IDS's post on the Olympics set me thinking a bit.  Though the title of my post refers to Bangalore, we can substitute "any Indian mega city" in its place.

Bangalore today is very different from the Bangalore in which I grew up (70s and 80s).  I won't get into that too much. 

There are some advantages of bringing up children in a city like Bangalore.  For those of us who have families here, children grow up with the extended family which is always quite nice.  One does not constantly worry about things like gun crime, child molestation (not that is does not exist), etc.  These are genuine problems in some countries (one of my friends having moved to Germany was told clearly - this is not Asia; don't look at children, don't smile at them, etc etc).  We have not reached that stage yet thankfully.

But...

Our cities are just not child friendly.

a. There are no playgrounds in most areas.  Many have been usurped for various things.

b. The roads and streets are just not child friendly. 

c. Public libraries are far and few in between.  The CCLs are not in great shape.

d. Sports facilities are non-existent.  Some clubs have tennis courts, basketball courts, etc., but not everyone can hope to be a member in them.

e. Public transport is not exactly child friendly.  Hopefully the Metro will change that a bit.

f. Public spaces (not including malls) are non-existent.  There are hardly any places where one can go to in the evening as a family whereone can experience nature.  Lakes e.g. could have served this purpose, but they are seen as potential real estate and left to die.

Overall, they are not allowed to be independent even in a limited way.  Is this the best way of bringing up children.  The other option is to take risks and say that "life is tough, they better get used to it!".

In general we are robbing our children of their future - look at the public debt levels, unsustainable energy usage, climate change.  We are not even willing to give them a proper present (as in today).

Your thoughts?

Srivathsa

Comments

sanjayv's picture

Absolutely True

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 Very true words Srivathsa. Could not agree more.  Add to this, the impact of pollution on the delicate airways of the young ones.  The amount of childhood asthma incidence is abnormally high in large cities.  Bangalore I gather is one of the leaders on this front.

All the points you make are similar to thoughts I have had at various points.

Rithesh's picture

Cant agree with you more

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Especially with the playgrounds, sport facilities and the library points. Also you may want to add public space for art and theater, museums, etc..

Agreed that there are clubs, which do provide sporting facilities, but how many can afford them - less than .0001% of Bangalore's population. What most ppl wont understand (especially proponents of free market and PPP) is bcoz of these financial barriers, non-academic talents are never encouraged in children. We after all cannot be a great nation just by producing engineers - can we?.

Kanteerava stadium - is more often used for exhibitions than sporting events. Initial reasoning was that they had to do this to raise money to maintain the stadium - you just have to visit the place once to know how pathetic is the state of the facilities - i wonder where does all the revenues from these exhibitions go.
blrsri's picture

BDA at fault?

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CA  sites were once needed in all layout sanctions BDA did and this took care of the public spaces like parks/sports sections etc..they have been lax in controlling irregularities in this..this is the reason we are where we are..

http://archive.deccanherald.com/Deccanherald/Nov252006/city0425720061125.asp

such damage control drives are more a hogwash..

we need:

More responsible citizens who do not think CA sites as few extra housing plots and bribe the officials

Controls to take care of violations at the very begining itself

begeprasad's picture

The answer would be "NO"

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Its simply not a good place to bring up a child. Most of the parents dont have time and in what little time one might have, nobody wants to venture out and get caugt in the traffic. When my children want to goto a park, I need to travel about 6 Kms and the whole stretch is full of traffic. Now enough of complaining. Just wanted to share that, we have a lake in our layout and like all other lakes this was innundated with sewage water all the construction debri and what not. So our residents association took the initiative and we have started the rescue opertaion. We hope to clean the surrounding area and the lake itself, so that it becomes a part of our area where in all of us can go there and spend some time.

peace

g

Guru

purnimaiyer's picture

Relocating to Bangalore

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I am in the process of thinking about whether or not to relocate back to Bangalore after living and working in Thailand for 9 years. I have a 10 year old daughter, and one of the main reasons for moving back would be for her to get a good education.

I would really like to know how the environment is, these days, in 2013, regards bringing up a child in Bangalore. 

Sincere opinions and thoughts are welcome and would be appreciated.

 

Thanks.

silkboard's picture

relative to?

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Just curious - is this a Bangalore vs another city in India/Karnataka choice, or Thailand vs Karnataka type of question. Or, is it 2013 vs how it was in say 90s.

MaheshK's picture

Its an individual choice

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Relocating is an individual choice. No need to get feedback from others on this issue. You and your family decide. People from North and other places in India have relocated to Bangalore for various reasons. They feel better and safer as compared to their own places. We relocated back to our native Bangalore after spending more than two decades in North America. We made this choice and we are fine with it. So go by your intution, discuss with your family, but not by others adivce who may their own narrow views.   

purnimaiyer's picture

Thanks

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Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. I appreciate it.

@ MaheshK: I udnerstand that is is an individual choise, and my family and I have been discussing things for quite a while. The main reason for us to relocate as I mentioned, is to have my daughter get a good education. Thailand is a great place to teach, relaxed environment, and life is simple, but when it comes to your own kids' education, it is not such a great place to bring up your own child and give them an education. I have no doubt that my daughter will get a much better education in India (Bangalore)-where she was born actually. My mother and I also grew up and did our formal schooling in India. 

There are other important factors for us to consider, such as the concept of single parents, and if people in India are open to that, and can accept it. I've heard a lot about people in Bangalore being quite open-minded and modern in their ways, but it might still be only a small percentage of the popluation, considering the fact that population figures are huge in India. Here in Thailand, as maybe in the United States too, people just let others be the way they are, and don't really interfere that much in their lives. There will be several factors that we might need to consider before moving to India.

So yes, I think the final decision will have to be made based upon intuition. Which is why my family and I will probably be visiting Bangalore first, and see how it feels to be there, and do things the way things are done in daily life.

@ silkboard: It's actually all of those. Like I mentioned above, there are several factors that we would need to consider before making the move. 

Bangalore, I feel, was probably nicer in the 90s than it is today.

 

ESAF BANGALORE's picture

Yes, I totally agree with the

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Yes, I totally agree with the fact that it is not the best place to be to bring up the children in terms of infrastructure as highlighted. But there are always room for improvement, working out solutions unless community as a single point decides to do. Of course our babu's also needs to be roped in to get the things done. But if community is decided atleast after a struggle you can regain those facilities for our children. Otherwise our children will be in coccoon where they will be fed with video games, tv and expert in playing games in electronic gadgets.

Manju George

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