Wednesday, September 22, 2010
CommonWealth Games-Is it a blessing in disguise or Curse?
It has become a routine in our life to talk about the highly hyped COMMONWEALTH GAMES. Be it TV or Newspaper or the friendly neighbourhood or colleagues at work place, Not even a day pass on without speaking about CWG. Have we ever wondered why CWG is much talked about? Or to say much hyped about? Or Is the focus on CWG due to India’s dismal performance in Cricket.
Let’s date back to a day before the Children’s day in 2003. In Jamaica, two strong contenders (Canada and India) were at loggerheads for hosting a prestigious event named CWG in 2010. A tense first round of voting got over without reaching a consensus. Just moments before the second round of voting, India made an offer of US$ 100,000 to each of the participating nations in addition to the free offers of air tickets, boarding, lodging and transport. This offer strongly tilted the voting in favour of India and India won the bid by a margin of 46 to 22 votes. The bid document estimated a cost of Rs. 1,899 crore for hosting the event.
It was one of the most cherished moments as India got the honour of hosting the game for the second time in Asia after Malaysia, which hosted the game in 1998. Back in India, celebrations erupted across the length and breadth of the country to admire the historic achievement. Preparations for CWG started in full flow, with Suresh Kalmadi being named as the Chairman of the Organising committee.
The game is supposed to bring prosperity to the Indian economy in the form of direct and indirect labour, Infrastructure development and bring new tourists to India. The work ranges from building of world class stadiums, improved infrastructure of roads, Metros, Airport and to build a CWG Village for the players to stay. Periodic audits were conducted to make sure that the deadline leading to CWG was achieved.
A year back, with the entire work going in full flow, a metal construction bridge (build as part of the Delhi Metro) collapsed. The situation further aggravated with the toppling of a crane, which had been put there to clean the debris. The well-known and respected Mr. E Sreedharan, head of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), offered resignation, even though none of the political parties had sought his resignation. Known for his honesty and integrity, he was allowed to continue as the head of DMRC and he assured to complete the given work in time.
Exactly two months leading to the games, major scam broke out in form of medical equipments procurement for the games. With other major controversies popping out, the government stepped in to assure the World, that the games will go on schedule with World class facilities provided to the visiting nations.
With 13 more days to go for the games, complaints have been raised on the kind of accommodation being provided at the CWG village for the sportsperson. The countries, New Zealand, Canada, Scotland and Ireland have shown dissatisfaction on the kind of accommodation being provided. It is said that the facilities provided to the sportsperson is not up to the standard of International level and if not addressed immediately, an alternate accommodation need to be provided to them either at the Ashoka or Janpath. This means the cost of hosting the events still goes up.
The Organizing committee has added worries with the possible dengue outbreak, shooting incident at the Jama Masjid, flood like situation due to the monsoons. Adding on to these worries is the bridge collapse near the main venue-Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium. These latest incidents have made the visiting nations to double-think their decision of participating in the CWG. Also, famous stars have started pulling out of the prestigious CWG, with World Discus champ Dani Samuels of Australia, being the latest in the list.
Are we forgetting the reason for winning the bid for CWG?
Isn’t this event supposed to bring pride to this developing nation and to prove our strengths to the World?
With the kind of scandals and problems erupting out, Will we be able to host a successful tournament?
Will we be able to improve the conditions in the next 11 days, which we were not able to do in the past six years?
Will we ever be able to go for any future bidding for major events?
Are we prepared to accept the World mocking at us in case of a poor show?
There is only one answer to all the above questions. Work day in and out to improve
the facilities before the blessing turns into a curse.