By Gitanjali Maria:
Hosting an international level event is always a pride for any nation. To be the hosts of international events like the Olympics, Commonwealth Games etc. is considered a matter of pride by the countries. A couple of years back when India bagged the opportunity to host the Commonwealth Games, the nation was jubilant. But today, the tables have reversed and we have a large number of people who feel that bidding for the commonwealth games was a mistake.
With preparations still far behind schedule and scams in the organizational process being unearthed, many feel that the Commonwealth Games have landed India in a big mess. When Britain bid for Olympics 2012 and won the bid, many Britons felt that their country was making a mistake. But two years ahead of the mega-event, Britain has progressed a lot with the preparations and also turned some of the once disused industrial area in the East London region into habitable areas. Britain took the Olympic preparations as an opportunity to develop the country and improve the amenities. Delhi too must have had some plan in its mind when it made the successful commonwealth bid.
The Commonwealth Games would have been a good reason to develop infrastructure and amenities in the capital as well as to create some good stadiums and grounds for our athletes for their present as well as future needs. India should have capitalized this opportunity and transformed itself from a Third World capital to a developed hi-tech modern capital city. It should have used this as a reason to provide facilities for sportspersons for their training and competitions. This would have in the long run helped India produce well-trained world class athletes. India should have used this occasion to transform itself and to present to the world a new face of India; where the historically and culturally rich nation blends with technology and modernity.
But time has still not completely left our hands. We have about two months to do justice to the bid we won. In his open letter, the Chairman of Sahara Group has urged the nation and its people not to let hope down and criticize the organizers and blame the government but to try to work harder to make the Games a success. He has urged that punishments and trials for those accused of scams in the organization of the games be put aside for after October and urged the media to cooperate with the government.
It is not that India cannot put up a good show; India was the first nation to host the Asian Games and has also hosted it twice. The government should take up active interest and accelerate the preparations. In addition to revenue being generated during the events, we are also developing our own city. We should have been proud to be hosting the Commonwealth Games. It would have been an opportune time to showcase our culture, heritage, history and progress.
There is nothing that is impossible and if India wants it can still, with the two months left, make it a better Commonwealth Games 2010. Wishing good luck to all the organizers and participating athletes for a grand Games 2010.
The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.