Seeking cooperation from all quarters for making the Commonwealth Games a success, a total of Rs 28,054 crore have been spent on the games out of which Rs 16,560 crore was given to the Delhi Government for upgrading the capital infrastructure and building of various stadia. Making an intervention during a debate in the Lok Sabha on the Commonwealth Games, of the total of money given to the Delhi Government, only Rs 670 crore has been spent directly on the games on building stadium. “The rest of the money has been spent on infrastructure development of the capital, which is not directly linked to the games.”
The Commonwealth Games had 5000 athletes participating from 53 countries. A lot of money has already been lost in the whirlpool of corruption this time around. When the Asian Games were hosted by India in 1982, it was a similar story. The politicians and administrators have a certain policy. It is fairly simple and easy to understand. Wait till the end, then loot and plunder.
On the other hand when we see, poverty in India is widespread with the nation estimated to have a third of the world’s poor. According to a 2005 World Bank estimate, 42% of India falls below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 a day (PPP, in nominal terms Rs. 21.6 a day in urban areas and Rs. 14.3 in rural areas); having reduced from 60% in 1981.
According to the criterion used by the Planning Commission of India 27.5% of the population was living below the poverty linein 2004–2005, down from 51.3% in 1977 – 1978, and 36% in 1993 – 1994. A study by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative using a Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) found that there were 421 million poor living under the MPI in eight north India states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. This number is higher than the 410 million poor living in the 26 poorest African nations. However, latest estimates by NCAER (National Council of Applied Economic Research), show that 48% of the Indian households earn more than Rs. 90,000 (US$2,025) annually (or more than US$3 PPP per person). According to NCAER, in 2009, of the 222 million households in India, the absolutely poor households (annual incomes below 45,000) accounted for only 15.6 % of them or about 35 million (about 200 million Indians). Another 80 million households are in income levels of Rs. 45,000 – 90,000 per year.
We need to learn to set priorities right. We need to focus on aspects which are important & urgent rather than which are important & not urgent. The money which was spent lavishly on the common wealth games should have spent on eliminating poverty, providing employment, developing the education system, curbing alcohol and drugs, abolishing child labour, fighting homosexuality etc. These activities are much more important than hosting the games.
We all need to work for a just world so that all the people at least get their basic rights. India is a place where Pizza reaches home faster than Ambulance & Police, where you get Car Loan at 5% but Education Loan at 12%, where Rice costs Rs. 30 but Sim Card is Free, where Footwear’s are sold in AC showrooms but vegetable are sold on footpath and where we make Lemon Juice with artificial flavors and Dish wash with pure Lemon.
We need to question ourselves and see whether our hearts are still alive? We need to see if our leaders have lost empathetic skills. We know how to fly in the sky but how to life on the earth we do not know. The even sadder part is that the money which is spent on just a game, which has no significant value in human life. We are all enjoying seeing the games and cheering Indian athletes when they win medals but we are failing to see the other side of the coin which is rusting.
The Commonwealth Games have been called India’s pride and a spectacle of its capabilities. But it has end up being a spectacle of corruption though. A report of the Chief Vigilance Commission (CVC) points to corruption at every level in the organization of the games. The CVC report says that almost all organisations executing infrastructure works forCommonwealth Games have flouted rules in tenders and increased their prices. This means contractors have been paid more than what is the right price. Let anyone win or lose at the common wealth games but corruption has won for sure.
The greed of more and more money is leading people to corruption, but they fail to realize that they are going to die one day leaving everything behind. The problem of corruption and injustice will not be solved unless people have the true concept of God and unless they develop the sense of accountability in front of the Creator.