Child’s Play

Child’s Play

Excessive cravings do not necessarily involve physical substances. Like the world’s most popular leisure pastime, television – an addiction that has enveloped all age groups. In fact, Newton’s law of inertia aptly describes a TV addict: A body at rest tends to remain in the state of rest. And if the body is of a child in front of the TV, then it is a cause for great worry.

The gravity of the situation can be judged by the results of a survey conducted in the US which states that a typical child watches an average of thirty-five hours of television per week! Along with a sedentary lifestyle, television promotes a whole host of equally disturbing behaviors: lack of creativity and stimulation, and the absence of family interaction, reading time, and self-motivated play time.

In its effort to provide good, healthy entertainment to children, Thane Municipal Corporation has recently installed a range of multi-play systems in thirty gardens around the city. Kids can now enjoy on the lovely new systems such as spiral slide, tube slide, roller slide, double spring wave slide, adjustable see-saw, climbing frames and many other interesting things. An estimated fifteen to twenty thousand kids visit these newly equipped gardens daily. TMC Commissioner K. P. Bakshi, Mayor Sharda Raut and other senior officers too have paid a visit to the gardens in the last few weeks.

Arihant Industries Corporation, the suppliers of the play systems, will also maintain them for the next two years.

Hopefully this network of gardens will play an important role in diverting the city kids away from the television networks.

First among equals
"Pandit Ram Marathe Smruti Din" is a yearly event that is extremely popular among music lovers of Maharashtra. People go to any lengths to reserve their seats in advance, lest they miss out the opportunity to see the show. This year, for the programme to be held on April 05, the plans opened on March 31. But the book windows of Gadkari Rangayatan, where the programme was to be held, had queues from the previous night (March 30).

This is not the first time that this has happened. The organizers too are overwhelmed by the enthusiasm displayed by the fans, year after year. In fact, it has now become a custom for the organizers to officially felicitate the very first purchaser of the ticket, as a mark of appreciation.

For readers who are unaware, Pandit Ram Marathe was one of the great classical vocalists that our country has produced. He was conferred with The Sangeet Bhushan title by the Government of Maharashtra and won numerous awards during his lifetime, including the Sangeet Natak Akademy Award in the year 1987.

Muscular Clash
Last week, TMC and the Thane District Body Building Association organized the Fifth Body Building Competition for the title of "Mahapaur Shree 2002" at Gadkari Rangayatan. 116 contestants from all over the state participated in the competition, which was inaugurated by Mayor Sharda Raut.

It was a fierce competition between bulging biceps and triceps, extra-tight waistlines and macho muscles. In the end, it was Uttam Saliyan from Jai Bharat Sports Club who won the title of the "Mahapaur Shri -2002". He also bagged the "Best Poser" award.

"Ugavata Tara" (Rising star) team trophy went to "Spurti Vyayam Shala", whereas runners up were "Jai Bharat Sports Club" at Kharegaon, Kalwa.

Although the competition lasted only for a few hours, the sweat and toil that went into developing those impressive muscles should not be discounted.

The participants of the "Mahapaur Shri" competition looked inspired by none other than the world’s most famous bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who once said, "My definition of a sport is that it’s a physical activity that involves competition. Since bodybuilders certainly train and then compete, we are certainly a sport."

Bodybuilding is one of the most underappreciated sports in this country, and such competitions will go a long way in getting this sport its rightful place under the sun.

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