This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Amidst Severe Poverty and Unemployment, We Spent USD 1.6bn on Games

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Divyanshu Singhal:

NEW FRONTIERS AND FRIENDSHIP”-The motto that got India a chance to host Commonwealth games for the first time. If the organizing committee had worked on the games with the same motto and sincerity, the scenario would have been totally different now. India was confident of holding the best Commonwealth Games, overcoming all its shortcomings, but we had our fair share of critics.

The games were supposed to give a whole new face to the city of Delhi. But, what has it made out of it. The first thought that comes to mind is “Will we be able to finish the preparations for the games in time?” And even if we manage that, “will we be able to provide the class that we have promised for the games”.

There can always be different ways to perceive the same issue. India has managed to spend a whopping USD 1.6 billion on the games that even beats the Melbourne games’06. This excludes expenditure on non-sports related infrastructure like roads, airports etc. Or if we look at the other side, was all this money spent on something tangible? A nation like India, where a lot needs to be done about the poverty, unemployment, hunger, education, has been spending relentlessly on the games and we still don’t see a successful platform for the games in place. We may have been successful in giving Delhi the infrastructure it needs, but what about the other parts of the country? Is Delhi not a small petal of the same flower? Wouldn’t have things been much well off, if there were different parts of the country hosting games together? We are trying to provide the world with a venue, where there shall be a CLASH OF THE TITANS. But what use is all this of, when our own titans shall wither off in front of the mighty. Even if a small chunk of the money would have gone in the training of our athletes, there would be a few more medals in our own kitty – and a lot more well deserved respect.

Talking of the preparations for the games, considering the amount of English speaking tourists that the country is going to have during the games, we plan to hire workers that shall be able to speak English and be able to converse well with the tourists. We have even brought in a program that aims at teaching English to 1000 people per month so that we are able to meet the needs of the coming tourists. We may be planning to put an end to one of the biggest problems “power cuts” by undertaking a large power production initiative and even establishing new power plants.

According to Hello2Net.net, in addition to physical preparation, India aims to provide free accommodation for all athletes at the Games Village, as well as free transport and other benefits. The Games Village shall house over 8,000 athletes and officials for the Games. Indian states will train state police forces to handle tourist-related issues and deploy them prior to the Games. Roads, infrastructure, cloverleaf flyovers, and bridges have been planned to facilitate traffic for the Games and city in general. Additionally, The Delhi Metro will be expanded to accommodate more people and boost the use of public transport during the 2010 games. Indira Gandhi International Airport is being modernized, expanded, and upgraded. Costing nearly US$ 1.95 billion, Terminal 3 has improved airport passenger capacity to more than 37 million passengers a year by 2010. Not only in terms of numbers but also the facilities at the biggest airport in the country, this surely comes as a big respite for the tourists.

Digest this if you can with a pinch of salt because lemon is too expensive. Amidst all this, what have we really got to see! India has still been really lagging behind in gearing up for the games. May be I can see the reason why Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar did not want Delhi to hold the games. Mounds of debris surrounding the dug up roads and walkways across the crowded city, leaking stadiums and fables of corruption is the staple these days.

At the time when Delhi was handed over the chance to hold the CWG, so was Johannesburg to host the World Cup’2010. And we have all seen the success of it. Drawing comparisons between the two cities, Johannesburg lacked infrastructure tempered with high crime rates. Yet in four years Johannesburg was able to transform itself by creating plantations on wasteland, building new roads and replacing many of tin shacks with new housing. As for us, bamboo screens have been erected around city slums to prevent visitors from witnessing the real sights in Delhi. Out of sight out of mind. Had the organizing committee been efficient enough, they could have generated enough employment for these slum dwellers at construction sites. India definitely planned to show off its increasing wealth and looked to do away with a reputation that has haunted us for long.

With the advent of the rains, the farmers can definitely sleep in peace. With water logging everywhere and traffic jams, it sure is giving Delhi a nightmare. A lot of ineligible construction agencies have been handed over contracts for the construction of the game’s venue. There has been a transfer of a lion share of funds to the accounts of the officials of organizing committee. If even once, had the love for their country surfaced in their hearts, they would have worked well for it. Instead we have been left bereft of the plan as well as the resources.

With India still unable to tackle the Maoist problems, and the Kashmir issue rearing its head again, India has failed to convince the other nations of its security plans. There have been warnings issued about terror strikes ahead of the games. With groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Indian Mujahideen waiting for opportunities like this, we should be well aware of the threat that they pose to the games. We, not only are responsible for the security of the fellow Indians but also of the citizens of the other nations, who have placed their trust in our security system. Many internationally famed athletes have already decided to boycott CWG citing security concerns as the major reason.

I still have no clue about our athletes. I hope they fair well at the games. Their own concerns have been buried deep under the hue and cry of hosting the games. When Beijing hosted the Olympics, they not only proved to be the perfect hosts, but also managed to win a large chunk of medals. Their efforts were visible out there. We have not shown the type of commitment that was needed. The sports committee should have provided enough out of their huge budget, to our athletes for their training. At one point, we plan of hosting the most expensive games ever, and at the other, the hockey teams are complaining of their wages. We, sure, have done our due diligence in Hypocrisy.

The reputation of the country is at stake. With still over a month and half left, the organizing committee can still change the face of the games. As Shri Manmohan Singh, the honorable prime minister of India, has said “We should treat the Commonwealth games like a national festival and should leave no stone unturned to make the games a success.” It should be a moment of pride for us. We should feel a sense of patriotism in the fact that India is holding the games. We should be cooperative in whatever way possible to see the success of the games. These games are a more than just a test of our abilities; they are testing times for our pride as Indians.

image source — http://southasia.oneworld.net/todaysheadlines/delhi-drives-registration-programme-for-cwg-workers

You must be to comment.
  1. akshay

    Sir i am not sure which side of the history you want to be. Your write up is informative for sure but then i dont get the point, you werent supporting the games at first instance and you ended up saying that its about are reputaion. Anyways all i want to say is the importance of holding these games cannot be denied. If India wants to get an international recognition these games are important. No doubt issues like education, poverty, hunger need to be dealt with, but this in no way means that holding of games shouldnt have been a priority. The new terminal should have been made because Indira gandhi International airport was in the list of worst airports. New Delhi is the capital of our country so if its getting a facelift whats the harm, because its we who complain about the innumerable traffic jams. So the point is the games are also as important as anything, now that we have taken the responsibility lets make it a success

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Vineet Ranga

By Ronak Aazad

By Priyanka Mishra

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below