26 September 2010

Common-poor games?

I saw something pretty awful on the news tonight. I've been watching Delhi's attempts to host the Commonwealth Games with some cynicism, particularly after the revelation of the conditions of the athletes' village. I wasn't all that surprised in some ways, but what did horrify me tonight was an article on the news: Games officials are forcibly relocating a squatters' tent city opposite the Village - apparently they are trying to hide the real conditions of India from the international community.

My question is why was an event like the Games ever awarded to India, a country that cannot even afford to feed its own, let alone pay for an international sporting event like the Games? The huge cost, not to mention the poor construction and building standards and lack of basic safety precautions such as fire extinguishers etc makes it a very scary place to hold a huge international event - not to mention terrorist threats, dengue fever etc.

The faces of those who were being relocated is haunting me - they have practically nothing and now even that very little they have is being taken away. I wonder if India is planning to offer these people the Games Village apartments for free when the athletes leave? I doubt it - but it would be the right thing to do.

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