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Underlined in red,a city left out of Games plan

The Commonwealth Games personnel,easily distinguishable in their red-and-white uniforms and flashing accreditation cards.

Written by Deepu Sebastian Edmond | New Delhi |
October 6, 2010 6:30:40 am

The Commonwealth Games personnel,easily distinguishable in their red-and-white uniforms and flashing accreditation cards,have to answer a lot of questions these days. Way too many,in fact.

In a Metro train on the Central Secretariat-Sarita Vihar Violet Line on Tuesday,an individual in civilian dress who was wearing his CWG accreditation card and bag got a good,hard stare from his neighbour. The cardholder,who seemed to be in his early twenties,was unfazed and stared back.

“So,where did you get your bag from? Good bag,by the way,” came the comment. “I am with the Commonwealth Games medical team,” came the reply. Silence.

The train rolled into the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium station,and the CWG team member got down. The other man turned to his friend. “These volunteers do nothing the whole day. They just sit around in Metro stations,” he said.

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Amal Rawat,student of the Manav Rachna International University,would surely differ. Amal joined the volunteer force today. “I got a call only yesterday. I was trained to be part of the opening ceremony,but I am ready to take up other jobs too,” he said as the train rolled into the Rajiv Chowk Metro station at 2.30 pm. Amal had just brought his kit from Pragati Maidan and was already wearing his t-shirt. He was on his way to the JLN Stadium,where duty awaited.

Those of us who blamed the Organising Committee for finishing work at the eleventh hour should realise that most of us are ‘like that only’.

“Shouldn’t we go for some events?” said one youngster to another,while wistfully gazing at a horde of smartly dressed volunteers who got in at the Patel Chowk station. “Probably we should. Paes and Bhupati are playing today. There is also Saina Nehwal. Didn’t Sania and Paes play yesterday?,” came the reply and a list of the latest sports stars of the country,which did not include the national hockey team’s match against Malaysia later in the day.

“I think the tickets are worth Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500. I will try to get them online today. I want to go and see Vijender,” replied his friend.

In the Red Line,a world away from the Blue,Yellow and Violet lines that are directed connected to the Games,three students of Class XII were returning from a tuition class.

“Have they managed to finish all these stadiums on time,” one of them asked. “Of course not,” came the reply. “They got the basics done. Look at that road,for instance,” said his friend sitting in the middle,pointing to an under-construction road. “This is not international quality,” he added for emphasis.

The train was over the river,with the old Yamuna Bridge in the distance. “It looks so dirty,” said the third. “Everything is so wrong here. Have you seen the Thames?” asked the student in the middle by way of an answer.

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