Bottom Line: Some of the property portals have added the child friendliness map in their listing where the listed property also suggests that the area has how many schools, hospitals, parks and the relative distance from the project. Track2Realty finds designing the project itself for the children is obviously the next logical outcome for the developers and a new segment has arrived.
With the nuclear families being the norm in most of the cities the home buying pattern and the nature of the home itself is changing fast world over. India has been rather slow to catch up with this change and till very recently home buying has been the prerogative of the male member of the family.
With the change of urban demography and social structure, added with the emergence of double income families, women gradually started coming to the fore as far as the choice of the apartment and amenities is concerned.
Why child friendly homes?
Urban demography and social structure changing
Working couple in the cities
Single child getting the norm
Saves child from loneliness
The aspiration for the home still has been something that was supposed to be convenient for the couple in terms of amenities and their travel to the work place. The needs of the star of the home, the child, were merely confined to assessment by the parents in terms of school in the vicinity.
Of late, with the realisation that most of the working couples in the cities have just one kid certain developers started selling the concept of child friendliness index of the project. It was about not just school in the vicinity, but also playground, recreational activities and the overall safety & security of the child.
The Indian real estate that has been struggling for new ideas and innovations soon found a sound business opportunity with the theme and hence there has been increasing focus on the star of the home in selling the home. Now it is no more about the social infrastructure in the vicinity but also what are the value added propositions for the child within the project.
What is child friendly index?
Proximity to schools
Proximity to hospitals
Proximity to playground
Leisure and academic facilities in the vicinity
Analysts believe the true test of any innovative concept is to understand the problem that the innovation is solving. Every product undergoes feature enhancement from time to time and this becomes a way for the manufacturers/producers to compete. Real estate in that sense has been no different.
Ceramic tiles gave way to vitrified tiles which gave way to imported marble which gave way to Italian marble. From a playground, it changed to club houses being introduced. Club houses then got upgraded to club house with party room and card room. Then gyms got added and so on. All this is in the category of product enhancement.
It is like an organic growth where the product has the opportunity to not only serve its original purpose, but in addition to solve a new problem as well. Child centric home is such an innovation.
What child friendly home provides?
Developmental training & coaching
Magnetic door catches
Outside lock to doors
Child safe switches
Rohit Gera, Managing Director of Gera Developments says child centric home aims to ease the burden and stress young parents face when it comes to coordinating, dropping, fetching, arranging, selecting & searching for various activities for their children. These activities could be day care to training in various sports, arts or developmental training in leadership, public speaking or Vedic math etc.
By providing world class coaching facilities and conveniences at their doorstep, parents have the opportunity to participate in their child’s development by just taking the elevator down to the ground floor and walking across to the coaching class to watch their child or even participate in the coaching with their child.
“This leads to better bonding between parents and children. It is a revolutionary concept and an innovative solution that is set to create a new category in the residential real estate industry and establish a benchmark in the product plus services model. This concept will not only empower today’s buyer but also provide a holistic upbringing for their children by providing best in class opportunities in sports, mental development, arts, music, dramatics and recreation through exclusive associations with India’s eminent personalities offering the best intellectual, physical and vocational coaching at the project. Chid centric homes are hence a different way to live for today’s young parents,” says Gera.
Nikhil Hawelia, Managing Director of Hawelia Grtoup prefers to call it the maturity of the sector that such a concept is evolving now. According to him, like any other industry innovation is required constantly to help the market grow and also to address the new needs of the consumers. With the concept of double income becoming more popular where both husband and wife are working, children’s security and care has acquired greater importance. Children centric home is the need of the hour and it will have acceptability from the market, more so in the metro cities.
“It is a niche category and will be popular initially more in metros and satellite towns rather than in semi urban areas where children still live in the protection of the elderly members of the family. However, once a concept gains ground and finds acceptability then normally it is carried over as a process of development across the country. Since it is a niche segment as of now, only like minded people will come in this type of housing and thus the chances of getting carried forward are high,” says Hawelia.
There is no denying that the concept is very relevant to the modern needs of cities, and hence the developers are working to ensure that every aspect of the project is carefully taken into consideration to ensure that children receive maximum amount of enrichment and stimulation.
The growing need to keep the children’s needs in mind while designing a luxury complex, or even buying into one, is propelled by two reasons a desire for a safe place where kids and parents can play and a hope that increasing access to sports at home would help the kids without the safety and security concerns that is there in metro cities.
By: Ravi Sinha