October 09, 2010

The dark side of Common wealth Games 2010

Sad face of Common Wealth Games 2010

The most expensive Commonwealth Games started on the 3rd of October 2010 at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi. The opening ceremony was stupendous and attracted great viewership from across the world. Strong crowd that gathered for the opening ceremony was astounded. It was a proud moment for India!

Foreign media praised Commonwealth Games a lot. Sir Steve Redgrave, the five times Olympic gold medalist was really impressed with India’s arrangements for the event and he said that India should take a bid for the Olympics in future.

Ironically, ever since India started preparing for CWG, there has been countless news about corruption in the name of arrangements. The level of corruption was exposed by the media so much that former government minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar who has in the past served as the country’s Sports Minister became the vocal critic of the Games. However, the organizing committee chairperson, Suresh Kalmadi and Delhi government were highly optimistic.

When the participants landed at New Delhi, they complained about the poor unlivable conditions of the rooms. The foreign media till the opening ceremony slammed the Commonwealth Games and then we saw sudden change in their reactions for the fact that India was successful in inaugurating CWG at such a grand scale.

No matter how much India has been applauded for the games; only time will tell us about the intensity of the success. However, the main thing to be pointed out here is the costs that India has incurred for the games.

India has already squeezed up the pockets of not only the state agencies by overrunning the budgets by billion dollars, and approximately 100,000 slum dwellers lost their homes too. The grand CWG stadium is built on the graves of poor slum dwellers.

The slum dwellers as the reaction to an outcry from non-government organizations were shifted to the 7,900 flats in Bawana, the western outskirts of Delhi. The hitch here is that the place at which these poor slum dwellers have been displaced doesn’t connect to the main city with any kind of transportation.

Besides this, people hired to do the cleaning in and around the venue are not paid the amount set for them. These labourers are coerced to work in unsafe and insanitary conditions. In addition, street vendors without the identity proof were asked to leave the city which led to the closure of the roadside eateries.

None of us is unaware of the enormous financial cost of the arrangements that’s almost double the original estimate. The cost India had to pay for the organization has made the 2010 Commonwealth Games the most expensive Commonwealth Games ever! My question is couldn't there be better utilization of the available resources?

Obviously, the stakes were high, but is that a good reason for the authorities to make the games wear such a hefty price tag? India got the opportunity to host such an event but ask the poor slum dwellers they wouldn’t ever say that they are proud of their country.

Once the games are over, the participant of 71 countries will go back to their homes and organizers too will rest well in their bungalows but who will even bother about the wretchedness of the poor slum dwellers? Is India doing justice by organizing such grand event? Are we happily ready for the organization of Olympics?

At last I would like to say Common wealth is games 2010 really a curse for common men & boon for politicians & rich people.


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