Removing the “Rot Behind” Commonwealth Games

650321-india-commonwealth-games-problemsMumbai    The Mumbai-based newspaper, DNA or Daily News & Analysis, hit the nail on the head in its Monday morning editorial entitled, “The Rot Behind CWG Facade Starts Showing.”  After recounting the momentary success of the spectacle of the grand opening, they detailed some of the litany of problems past the quick cleanup and fresh paint that allowed the Commonwealth Games to begin.  The problems have included water in the pools that  is sickening the swimmers because it’s not treated sufficiently, low-to-no crowds, constant ticket snafus and security problems, injuries to the Ugandans, and the list goes on and on.

The editorialist calls the question in the last two paragraphs:

Our real work begins after the games end – when the last athlete has left.  The government had promised to punish all those who were guilt of sins of omission and commission.  This must be done, if only to send out the message that we cannot always excuse failures.

Without a proper post-mortem and corrective action, we should not even dream of staging the Olympic Games.

The Commonwealth Games Campaign (www.commonwealthgamescampaign.org) will not only join such a call, but hopes to be allowed to participate fully in this post-Games evaluation, because among the “sins of omission and commission” must be the total disregard for the impact on the slumdwellers cleared out for the Games construction and their rights for compensation and demand to be made whole.  Furthermore the loss of livelihood by rickshaw pullers and others who have been relocated, harassed, and even arrested has to be come to a full reckoning and justice has to be served finally.  The workers, many of them informal, who were injured in the last minute, slapdash construction projects, also deserve justice, as well as a way to believe that health and safety standards will be upheld and enforced in the future.

The real medal count for India will not be in the way the standings fall between gold and total medals, but as the host of the Commonwealth Games whether or not they are willing to own up to the full impact of the Games, make the proper amends, and then think about what would be different in the future with real lessons learned.

Support the continued effort to bring justice by signing the petition and joining the campaign at www.commonwealthgamescampaign.org.

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