Is Delhi Civilized Enough For The Commonwealth Games?

Posted on January 3, 2010 in Sports, YKA Editorials

Parul Sabherwal:

Now that the commonwealth games, the second largest sporting event in the world after the Olympics, are about to reach the National Capital Region in a period of less than a year, the big question in the minds of the people of the capital is that “Is Delhi ready for the Commonwealth Games?”

I have read about this issue on many web sites and also in the news papers. Writers talk about the infrastructure in Delhi, traffic problems, problems of lack of hostel facility, rooms for players etc. But generally we forget about a very important aspect.

In my opinion the question should be that “Is Delhi civilized enough for the commonwealth games?”. Home Minister P. Chidambaram very rightly said that Delhi should now get ready to behave like an international city and the people should also present a clean and civilized image of the national capital in front of the foreign athletes, media and the numerous people who would visit the city during the games. Now it is high time that we improve the way in which the society behaves. Though these words seem to be very harsh but they are very much true. The standard of the etiquette of the Delhiites has deteriorated in the past few years.

Problems like spitting on the roads, jumping of queues at public places, littering of public transport or public places creates a very bad image of the city and the country on the whole and these are very common in people or the capital. These are the neglected issues and none of the authorities are looking at this side of development. The sad part is that the development that we are looking at is only either technological or infrastructural development but nobody is paying attention to the behavioral aspect.

Some of the important issues of concern are:

1. Beggary in Delhi:

Though begging is an offense under the Prevention of Begging Act, 1959 but Delhi roads are full of beggars. As soon as you stop on a traffic signal, these beggars come up and keep on asking for money until either the signal turns green or you give them the money. This will be a very big challenge for the Delhi government as the beggars will totally tarnish the image of our country in front of the guests. Though the government has thought of many ways like starting of mobile courts which could be helpful to reduce this problem.

2. Safety of women:

Today the national capital has earned itself a new name of being the rape capital, and I am sure none of us are proud of it. To a very large extent it is right too, after the recent increase in the rape cases in Delhi, the women fear traveling by public transport, they are afraid of walking alone on Delhi roads. So in this case, how safe is Delhi for the foreign guests? It would be shocking for all of us to know that on an average a women is raped every 24 hours and the government is in no way able to completely eradicate this problem. Rapes are a still a very big problem but a smaller version of this called eve teasing is very common on the roads. Girls are abused by some or the other passing guy while walking on the roads. So the state government should implement the strict laws against rape and make sure that the judiciary is alert.

3. Another problem that needs the attention is that the authorities should try and train the taxi drivers, bus drivers, auto drivers with proper etiquette so as to improve the interaction with the foreigners. As according to the basic human tendency, it is bound to happen that when a large number of people of a different cultural background suddenly come to your nation then you start feeling awkward. Be it just for a period of few days but the people of our city will have to understand and try and make them as comfortable as possible.

So now the time has come when Delhi should get ready and think beyond building of flyovers, subways, hotels etc. about these aspects as they are the things that effect the society and the psychology of the guests. These problems, if not taken care of will be a major issue for the country and the image will be very badly tarnished.

I also would like to suggest that it is not only the duty of the government but also the responsibility of the people who can voluntarily do a lot to reduce these problems and clean Delhi, psychologically.

All the best Delhi!!!

So what do you think?

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