NEW DELHI: All work and no play seems to be the mantra of over 100 schools in the national Capital as their students don't even have a playground for outdoor activities.

Replies filed by several district education zones of the Directorate of Education of Delhi Government furnished list of schools lacking playground facilities -- a prerequisite for recognition, if one goes by the Delhi School Education Act and Rules of 1973.

"If there is no playground in the school where will the children go? Children need open space to run around and they are not getting it," says Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, a Delhi resident who filed an RTI application.
In response to his query under the Right to Information Act, the Directorate of Education furnished a list of about a hundred schools across the Capital which do not have playgrounds.

Section 51 of the Delhi School Education Act and Rules of 1973 lists a playground as one of the facilities to be provided by a school seeking recognition. It states "a suitable playground for the purposes of games, sports and materials for such sports" was required.

However, all the zones selectively remained silent on another query as to whether the department was planning to take action against such schools, which are operating without playgrounds, but had been recognised in violation of the act.

It also adopted a taciturn policy on whether the officers, who were permitting the schools to run, were being held accountable.
"The officials are ignoring the schools' failure to follow rules related to providing safe and hygienic conditions - including open spaces - to students," said Ashok Agarwal, a High Court lawyer who has filed several petitions relating to schools and the education system in the city.