When Senior Sales Engineer Sham Dashmukhe decided to shift base to Pradhikaran area in Pune from Mumbai, the concern for his two children - Oham and Shreyaa - was at the top of his mind. "Safety at residence, as well as a suitable play area was definitely the priority," he says. "The first thing that we did was to secure the house suitably with grills and decided to convert the terrace into a play area for them." Besides, he wanted their school to be located within a three to five kilometre radius of home. That was, however, 12 years ago when Dashmukhe made the move and developers were still awakening to the needs of a pint-sized member in a family. Today, developers have successfully addressed this issue by designing child-centric homes in Pune. "Some of the newer projects have all the safety precautions in place beforehand," avers Dashmukhe. Similarly, according to Pune resident Sunitha Sharma, people generally prefer homes in residential projects that afford a clean, pollution-free environment, open space for play, detail and attention to safety and security, an environment that would enhance the growth and overall development of the child. "Keeping these specific requirements in mind, today, real estate developers have started coming up with child-centric homes that are being built around the idea of safety and development of children," she says. Generally, compared to other cities, Pune has had an upper hand when it comes to offering a clean environment with large parcels of land giving immense scope for planned development. In this regard, developers today are all ears when it comes to promoting concepts addressing the needs of a child in a family. Rohit Gera, Joint Managing Director, Gera Developments, says: "We have developed projects that included intelliflexes, childcare-centric homes for our clients. In fact, one of our projects is a place for little ones. This real estate project is especially designed for children, so that they don't miss any precious moment of their childhood. The motto is to give comfortable and safe living which will shape up a child's life in the best way. In fact, it's India's first child-centric development where children can play, grow, explore and make friends, all this utterly in a safe surrounding." This particular project at Kharadi offers garden-facing apartments and penthouse with child-centric features. "The basic idea is to give a child the vacation feel that was spent by their parents in their early days at their grandma's home, away from the city. Moreover, fun is not just restricted to simple feeling, it has more to explore like telescope on the terrace, common ponds for children to put in their own fish, bird baths in common areas, music rooms with instruments, amphitheatre to encourage theatre and other performing arts," Gera says. Additionally, developers are going a step ahead to address issues concerning safety features for a child in a home. Some of these safety features include matt flooring in the bathroom to prevent slipping, increased railing heights, child safety switches, fireproof wires, rounded corners, play areas away from vehicular traffic zone, soft flooring for toddler's play area, separate playground for children of different ages, among others. With regard to Pune, the new integrated townships coming up along its periphery are offering a whole new meaning to the concept of "gated community". These newer townships are offering a safe environment with adequate amenities for education, entertainment and development of a young mind. Developers remain gung-ho about the facilities that are being doled out in these integrated townships especially those concerning children. Rajesh Naiknavare, Director, Naiknavare Developers Pvt Ltd, says, "A person with a budget looks for amenities and a larger township project can provide all the support needed in terms of shopping, education of the children or their healthcare. An integrated township, in fact, offers an environment that suits their budget, besides peripheral amenities." All this while children have been known to be drivers of numbers in every sphere, and the real estate industry is no exception. Developers, too, have rightly realised this fact and are successfully catering to the needs of this young target audience. QUICK BYTES DEVELOPERS ARE INCREASINGLY RECOGNISING THE VALUE OF REACHING OUT TO CHILDREN IN THEIR PROJECTS WHILE PLAY AREAS TAKE PRIORITY, SAFETY IS ALSO AN IMPORTANT ISSUE
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