By Gitanjali Maria:
Failures are common in life and it is an oft repeated proverb that ‘failure is the stepping stone to success’. Whenever we face failure in life, our friends and family support us by giving consolation and encouraging us to march forward with greater vigour and better preparation to meet newer opportunities and tougher challenges. A failure should only energize us to fight harder to prove our mettle. India too should strongly follow this principle and put behind its failures and setbacks in organising the Common Wealth Games 2010 and put in their best application to secure the right to host the equally prestigious Asian Games 2019.
Though the CWG ’10 ended on a positive note it brought about with it a lot of scandals and bad publicity image. With allegations of corruption and favouritism and mismanagement of the whole event, India was projected as a bad host world over. But all events come with their negatives and India should not lose its confidence to organize such mega events. Instead, by bidding for Asian Games 2019 India can fetch for itself an opportunity to do things in a better way and project itself as a gracious and welcoming host. The memories of CWG ’10 can be erased by hosting a successful Asiad ’19. It will also help India improve its image as a sporting nation and a capable host.
Many do feel that investing money and resources on such events is wastage of our finances and should instead be used to train sportspersons of the country. But organising such events at home turf will mean giving opportunities for more athletes to take part in international events and will help boost their confidence and gain them exposure to world class competition. Organising such events will also ensure development of sports infrastructure. In a country where corruption is rampant and allocated money mostly goes into the pockets of officials, only organising such games will help develop at least a few stadiums and sports complexes as the nation’s pride will be at stake to put up a good show. Only at the time of organising such mega events would we feel the need to have state-of-art practice and competition venues. Else as usual this would remain a neglected issue.
Also infrastructure and other facilities developed in the host city would benefit the citizens too if done in a proper and planned manner. The Games can be used in shaping and building the city in a better manner and to provide the people of the city with improved amenities after the event. Roads, flyovers, metros etc built for the event will improve the life of the people. Also the stadium erected for the Games can be used for training.
CWG ’10 and the probes into the clouds of accusations hurled at the organising committee should set an example to show to the rest of the crowd that mismanagement of funds and corruption won’t be tolerated and that all involved in such malpractices would be strictly punished. Asian Games ’19 can be used as a stage to organize a ‘clean’ games and reduce corruption and nepotism usually involved with the organising of large events as these. Only officials with a clean record should be allowed to head such posts and the team selected for organizing it should comprise of people of merit and not just someone happens to be the president’s cousin’s wife’s brother’s third son.
India has already once missed the bus to host the 2014 Games and a mistake should not be repeated. It is difficult to erase a bad name but not trying to restore our honour and not working up to our potential would be an even greater mistake. For the sake of the sporting fraternity of the nation and for all rising sports stars and also for the future generations to be able to enjoy the benefits of what we make today, it would definitely be a good option to act hosts for yet another sporting extravaganza. In addition to sporting benefits, it will also be an opportune occasion to reap economic benefits through increased business and tourism.
India already has some ready-made infrastructure that was erected for the recently concluded Common Wealth Games. Maintaining and improving upon them and adding some new facilties will help in the successful organization of the Asiad (if we win the bid!) and also reduce the financial burden as a fraction of the infrastructure is already available. The government and the sports bodies too should take a keen interest to bring back the Games to India, the country where it all started about half a century ago.
The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.