Abid Hussain

Budgam boy turns his personal land into playground

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… but is anybody noticing this gesture?

Representational Image

Budgam: At a time when prices of land are touching skies and people are seen doing everything fair and foul to hold on to as much as they can, here is a young boy who has turned in 22 kanals of his priced land to make a playground of it.

Riyaz Ahmed Bhat, a postgraduate, converted his land at Kakinmaran village in central Kashmir’s Budgam district into a playground and named it “Friendz Cricket Stadium Kakinmaran (FCSK)”, where he is not only promoting sports, but has also engaged three other persons.

Since July last year, Bhat has successfully organized four cricket tournaments.

“Teams from different areas, including Budgam, Srinagar, Beerwah, Magam, Bemina, Naraspora, Ompora, and elsewhere have participated in the last four tournaments,” says Bhat.

Obviously, Bhat's stadium has become an attraction for the sportspersons of the district and elsewhere.

“I want to engage youth in sports,” he says.

Unfortunately, the fifth tournament that Bhat had started recently was halted by one of his neighbor, who alleged that the spectators are trespassing on his property.

“Had my neighbor not opposed the inauguration of fifth tournament, I would have surely concluded seven tournaments by now,” says Bhat.

He says that the ball sometimes land into my neighbor’s property. “To avoid this from happening, I am planning to construct a protection wall from my neighbor’s side,” he adds.

“I am looking forward to organize more cricket tournaments here in which the players will be provided with every cricket equipment except the bats,” says Bhat while appealing the Minister for Youth Services and Sports, Imran Raza Ansari, to provide cricket kits and related accessories for the forthcoming tournaments.

Asked how this ‘playground’ idea struck him, Bhat says, “I always used to ponder that there is dearth of playgrounds for the youth of Budgam, who are very enthusiastic about sports and this became the reason for me to establish the playground in my district.”

Bhat has also employed three persons -- among them two are into the job of umpiring, and one is a scorer.

He is convinced that in future he will employ more people at FCSK. “I have constructed four shops adjacent to the playground where I am going to sell sports equipments and will also provide canteen facility to the players and spectators,” he says.

“I am also planning to start a gym near the playground,” he says.

Interestingly, when most of the people in Bhat's locality prefer setting up brick kilns on their lands, he chose to do something unusual.

“I was approached by few brick kiln owners who were giving me a handsome amount of money for this land, but I denied his offer,” he says, adding that  “I can get crores in exchange of my land, but I won't sell it”.

“I will take a few more kannals of land on rent in order to make this playground more attractive,” he says.

The playground is located near Kakinmaran village, on Budgam-Beerwah road, some seven kms from Budgam township.

Locals told ‘Kashmir Images’ that apart from tournaments, villagers play different games in the playground.

Bhat has also initiated the process of getting his playground registered. “I request the government to provide registration for the playground and sanction fencing for it,” he says.

“I am looking forward to organize more cricket tournaments here in which the players will be provided with every cricket equipment except the bats,” says Bhat while appealing the Minister for Youth Services and Sports, Imran Raza Ansari, to provide cricket kits and related accessories for the forthcoming tournaments.

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