Unfortunately, the ability to enjoy and play in childhood isn’t an equal opportunity for children everywhere. Luckily, there are people, like this woman, trying to change this.
She’s found a beneficial and creative method to increase the number playgrounds for kids, but also help the environment by reusing discarded tires.
The Indian woman Pooja Rai has built hundreds of playgrounds using nothing but recycled tires.
Amazing Woman Creates Playground for Children Using Discarded Tires
Rai, an architect, considers this a cheap, durable, and relatively-safe method to reuse the 100 million tires India discards per year.
Through her non-profit Anthill Creations where the philosophy is ‘play is a child’s right’, she’s helped built 283 different playgrounds using painted tires.
Most of the playgrounds she builds feature large sculptures from tires including buildings, animals or car shapes paired with seesaws, swings, and jungle gyms.
Before they’re used for making playgrounds, the tires are collected, properly cleaned, and inspected for potential threats.
Then, they’re painted and drilled with holes so that water doesn’t gather inside. For Rai, play is an essential part of growing up; however, is often seen as a luxury and some may even consider it unnecessary.
Much of the work she does is enabled from donations to her non-profit. The small play spaces costs around $800 while the bigger ones may cost up to four times more.
She believes that since India, the second most populous country, discards a lot of tires, recycling them and reusing them for playground infrastructures creates the one-of-a-kind opportunity to teach children of ‘reducing, reusing, and recycling’ long before they become consumers themselves.
Who Helps Rai Build the Playgrounds?
When they decide to construct a playground, volunteers help Rai in the process. So far, 800 volunteers have been part of building these playgrounds.
They’re not just built in schools, but in other locations too, including public parks and refugee camps.
They’re themed in accordance to what these children would like.
For example, a specialty space for blind children, nautical-themed installations for communities in the coast or a boxing ring rather than a jungle gym using tires instead of bags for punching.
For one of the volunteers in the non-profit, Vikas Keshri, it’s been a joyful and gratifying experience to be part of this project and to be able to help bring smiles to thousands of children.
Rai added that we tend to forget how vulnerable the years of growing can be. So, a child’s playtime is essential for their proper development and health, including physical, mental, and emotional.