The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation Games are being held at Bangalore, with over 43 countries participating in it with over 600 athletes and several top officials. The Paralympic Committee of India, headed by politician Mr. Ratan Singh, is responsible for managing the show. But the way the event has been managed till now has not just brought shame to the country, but also raised a big concern on our preparation levels for CWG 2010.
The IWAS World Games are conducted for the wheelchair athletes and amputees and is one of the major sporting events for those who are physically challenged. As such, an event of this proportion requires careful planning, keeping the comfort of the athletes as a paramount objective. However, when you have politicians running the sports committees, one can be sure that the major objective in organizing the event will never be sports related.
The IWAS World Games has been a badly managed show right from the start. In the inauguration ceremony, athletes were made to watch it from the ground as no ramps were made so that the athletes can move to the stands. What was even more embarrassing was that even the vice-president of IWAS had to be physically lifted to get him to the dais, as there was no ramps made for the same at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore.
News reports suggest that the Sports committee responsible for the set-up did not start work on the grounds until just about a week before the beginning of the Games. Strange, if you consider the fact that the Paralympic Committee of India had over a year to get things right. Not even the basic things have been done for the Games, which includes ramps for the wheelchairs, disabled-friendly toilets, buses with low floors and proper venues for the events. Even the athletes have been left clueless as to what even is being hosted where and when, because the schedule is not very clear. The technical equipments to manage scores for athletics or shooting events aren’t in place yet although the events have already started. Venues such as Koramangala Stadium are still incomplete and final touches are being given.
The foreign media and delegates have had a very negative impact of the shoddy work done by the organizing committee. Although the Indian media is not concerned about the plight of the tournament yet, as no major news channel has carried out a report on it till now, the Foreigners will take back with them a very negative review of India. This was the last thing we needed, especially when we have Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010 coming up shortly.