Apart from boasting of vast green spaces, Secunderabad is also home to some of the best playgrounds in town
Hyderabad and Secunderabad might be twins, but they are as different as can be. While the former is known to be a treasure trove of rich Nawabi heritage, Secunderabad still has traces of its British history. Apart from boasting of vast green spaces, Secunderabad is also home to some of the best playgrounds in town.
“Every time I come back home to Secunderabad, there are several new things that catch my attention. But the one thing that remains constant are its grounds — Gymkhana and Parade grounds,” says Sukesh K, an advertising professional.
Jayanthi Jaisimha, wife of late cricketer ML Jaisimha says, “Change is inevitable. Secunderabad has changed too; today most places have been converted into a concrete jungle. However, there are open lung spaces in Secunderabad like Parade Grounds and Gymkhana Grounds. These prove to be a great relief and make Secunderabad much greener and fresher.”
Not just these there are several other grounds like Alwal grounds, Military Dairy grounds, Hasmathpet grounds, Trimulgherry grounds, Picket grounds and most schools in Secunderabad, which were constructed several decades back, have a huge play grounds as well.
Sunita Anand (wk), Indian women cricket team recalls, “I started my career in Secunderabad and we all practice and play in Secunderabad grounds. The best part about the grounds at Secunderabad is that there is no discrimination among people. Mithali Raj the Indian women’s cricket captain plays there as well as young children from orphan homes. This is unlike Hyderabad where it’s very commercialised and expensive.”
But it’s not just the joggers and fitness enthusiasts who head to these grounds. It is also a casual hang out space for some professionals. “I work night shifts and finish work at around 5am. After a long night in the office I like to go to the Gymkhana grounds as I find it very refreshing. It is the perfect break for me from the City’s pollution and chaos. It gives me a sense of liberation,” says Vishal Arya, a software employee.
A few people however are not too happy with the new set of restrictions that have been imposed on the usage of the grounds. “When I was a child there were fewer restrictions. While the grounds were maintained by the army even back then, they would let us use the grounds for longer hours. While the grounds are still open to the public today, the timings are restricted to a few hours in the morning and evening. Incidentally, although there were more people visiting the grounds back then, the premises were still spick and span, but today there is a litter of garbage everywhere,” complains Gurishab Singh, a businessman.
Over the years, several grounds have had to pave way for urbanisation. The Alwal and Picket grounds are some of the best examples. “We used to have grounds where we would play cricket. But the last time I wanted to go play a game, I noticed that most of the grounds have been converted into parks and playing cricket is no longer permitted. Some of the grounds have disappeared due to commercial projects and today children are forced to hire a ground to play. But how can students afford to hire a ground?” questions Shrikanth N, an IT professional.
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