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Commonwealth Games in India Underway

Published: 15.10.2010, Updated: 04.03.2017
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There has been unsettling controversy after a challenging and stressful period leading up to the 70th Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India. Nevertheless, they are now underway after a colourful opening ceremony on October 3rd.

Newspaper coverage of the opening ceremony shows a successful start for the 2010 Commonwealth GamesNewspaper coverage of the opening ceremony shows a successful start for the 2010 Commonwealth Games

India has experienced considerable criticism and negative press over what are considered below-standard preparations for the Commonwealth Games. The Games' committee in New Delhi believes that a lot of the criticism is due to cultural differences and denies that there is anything to be concerned over.  “Westerners” complained that housing for the athletes was filthy and unhygienic. Water was leaking in the bathrooms, there was excrement found “in places it shouldn’t be”, stray dogs were found in the building and even a snake was found in one room.

Expensive Games

Other criticism that has arisen was of an entirely different nature and had to do with the economic burden to India. Although the projected cost of the event was a “mere” $405 million, latest estimates have soared to a probable $2.35 billion and a possible $15 billion when all is considered.

Another Blow to the Poor?

Approximately 40% of India’s children and over 50% of Indian women live under the poverty line. Many feel that the country’s money is being used foolishly and should instead be utilized to fight poverty in the country. Furthermore, Indian officials have been met with hostility as they have tried to “clean” the streets of shanties, street vendors and the poverty-stricken portion of the population in the hope of hiding the reality of the situation from the rest of the world. Many street vendors argue that tourists should have the opportunity to buy goods at cheap prices at the open markets and experience this part of India’s culture. Other vendors argue that should they be forced to leave the city, they and their families will starve.

7000 athletes representing 70 teams are taking part in any of the 260 events taking place. The duration of the Commonwealth Games is 12 days. It is India's hope that the original tourist projections of 100,000+ will support the costs of the games and allow India to exhibit a shiny image.

Tasks

  1. Make a list of 5 Commonwealth countries.
  2. Find out if these countries have been granted independence from Great Britain, and when.
  3. Make a list of 5 unusual competitions taking place at the Commonwealth Games.
  4. Find out where the 1st Commonwealth Games was held (Hint: It is the country that also applied for the 2010 games, and lost to India!)