Indian Commonwealth Games: Sorry State of Affairs

After New Delhi was awarded the 2010 Commonwealth Games (slotted to begin October 3), India was strutting about claiming the Games would set the stage for a subseqent successful Olympics bid. However, thanks to mismanagement and bungling preparations, the runup process will do anything but inspire confidence in the Olympics Committee. Things got so bad that Mike Hooper(chief executive of the London-based Commonwealth Games Federation publicly took the Indian organisers to task and berated them for inadequate preparations. After a public slanging match between him and Indian organisers, a truce of sorts seemed to have been managed between the two parties.

But, with India’s preparations in shambles and deadlines being missed, India certainly hasn’t gotten its act together. Read more about that here –> Organisers running behind schedule for mega event

India is now running around desperately and injecting funds to put together some sort of Games, but at what cost to the poor labor?

Commonwealth Games’ construction has killed 43

A court-appointed panel says at least 43 workers have been killed building venues for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi because of dangerous work sites and a lack of proper safety gear.

India’s games organising committee stepped up the pace of work at the venues for athletics, swimming, weightlifting and some other events after Commonwealth Games officials said the slow pace of construction and repeatedly missed deadlines threatened the event.

The Commonwealth Games is scheduled to be held from October 3-14 and feature 71 nations and territories of the old British Empire.

The monitoring panel filed a report to the New Delhi High Court on Wednesday saying nearly 415,000 contract workers at construction sites related to the event were not being paid adequately by private contractors and were forced to work overtime for no extra money.

Conditions at the construction sites were poor and many accidents went unreported, while workers continued to work without proper safety gear, the report said.The court appointed the committee in January in response to allegations that the workers were living in crowded hovels with no protection from the winter elements, no electricity and filthy toilets.

The report recommended the workers be given proper wages, days off and hygienic living conditions.

It also suggested strong monitoring at the work sites to ensure no contractor or employer breached labour laws.

Indian organising committee officials did not immediately respond to the report.

Last minute desperation and abuse of workers may help in putting together CGames which India in normal bluster will tout as a success and the CGF will most likely try to put up smiles in public. But, in private, everyone will acknowledge that the Games are not “shining India” (indian media notwithstanding) and will most likely dissuade Olympics Committee from chasing the glitter of money & awarding games to a country which is out of its depth. No one to blame for the fiasco but India itself. The Games were awarded way back in 2003. With any semblance of organization and management, the state of affairs would not have been what they are now in 2010. Organizing big events has its problems and there are hiccups; but when there is so much time and still gross incompetence holds sway, then there is no place to hide. No one else to blame.


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