It was once a garbage dump and a hangout for anti-social elements. Now, children and grown ups alike spend happy hours at the Anna Memorial Ramnagar Park
Ten-year-old Vismaya goes ‘whoosh' down the slide. She bursts into laughter as she comes to a halt at the bottom. She is at the Anna Memorial Ramnagar Park with her mother Shobha. “We spend an hour every evening from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Since we stay nearby, this park is ideal for us,” says Shobha.
This park was once a dumping ground and a perfect haven for anti-social activities. In 2010, after repeated requests from the residents of Ramnagar, the park was cleaned up and got a new lease of life by the Corporation.
The 2.28 acre area is bordered by a rectangular walking path. There are a few trees near the boundaries and in the middle new trees have been planted. Since the trees were planted just two years ago, they are still in the growing stages. One side of the park is dedicated to a children's play area.
Not just residents of Ramanagar but people living in other areas also frequent the park. Mothers Preksha, Puneeta, Pinky, Sejal and Chandrakala are here with their children. They stay in R.S. Puram. They've packed themselves some potato chips and are having a nice picnic for themselves. While their kids are playing on the rides, the mothers unwind on one of the benches. While Preksha enjoys her time with her kid here, she wishes there were more rides. But Chandrakala points out that this park is way better than some others which are dirty and have broken rides that are unsafe for children. This park has two slides, two swings, a merry-go-round, a see-saw and a climber.
There is also a bare patch where Bhupathi (13), Dinesh (15), Kokila (9) and Prajuwal (10) play cricket. “
These kids like this park because there is enough space for all of them to run around and play games like lock and key and badminton.
“After our school closed for summer , we come here every evening and play for a least two hours,” says Dinesh. Vasudev R.Dave loves coming here because he is accompanied by his four-year-old grand daughter Mahi. “I come here every evening with her now that she has her summer break. Since it is a residential area, the crowd is also quite nice,” he says. The park is popular with the morning walkers too. Says Prabhakaran G, “I like the rectangular pattern of the park. Moreover, the path is wide enough for five people to walk in a line at one go. The only disadvantage in this park is that there aren't many trees,” says Prabhakaran.C. Johnson, another regular visitor, feels that the lawns could be better maintained.
Karthikeyan S who lives in Ramnagar remembers the time when people only dumped waste there. “It used to smell and was a nuisance to the residents of the area. Now, it is a big boon. More than children, it is the walkers who use this park. The walking path is always clean,” says Karthikeyan, who has been coming to the park since it was opened two years ago.
The Coimbatore Corporation Councillor for 51 Ward (Ramnagar) S. Ashok Kumar says, “Sixty saplings were planted in the park three weeks ago in an attempt to improve the tree cover.” The Anna Memorial Ramnagar Park located in Swarnambika Layout, Ramnagar remains open from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Keywords: Anna Memorial Ramnagar Park