- BY CHIRAG H. THAKKAR
What is your campaign all about?
It’s a campaign of hope, of initiative. We want people to not shun away from the Games, but cheer for them, cheer for India. Let us not be one of them, who just blame the system all the time. I am not endorsing or supporting the corrupt and humiliating chaps from the Organising Committee. All I am saying is that we don’t want to be a part of bandwagon, but instead cheer for the Games.
Why did you choose to do the unconventional, when a majority of people are just ashamed of the whole fiasco?
The Commonwealth Games is one of the few opportunities we have to take sports in India at another level. After the can of worms opened, people lost all hopes in the Games. There were and are enough jokes being made on the CWG. We just couldn’t sit back and be a part of the ones who just crib about things. No one wanted to talk about the Games. We couldn’t afford to let the image of the country plummet like this. Therefore, we students have taken charge of spreading hope and making people realise that this is our nation, and we are the host of the Games. However, corrupt and ugly the bureaucrats may be, we can’t let them malign our image further.
How did it all start? How’s the response?
We started this campaign in the form of a blog in the beginning. Gradually, as people began signing up, we realised that the initiative had to be taken a step further. We made a web page (www.cheercwg2010.in). Around 3,000 have already visited the website. We received around 1,000 supporters on our Facebook page. The word spread and people started responding from not just metros but places like Palakkad and Pilani. We then formed a core team of students, who strongly feel for the same cause. My friends Parth Thakkar, Path Dave, Sunder Iyer and I came together and have started networking and are taking the idea further. We are approaching educational institutions and they’re ready to support us. We’re putting up banners, charts, sending mails, conducting meetings at different parts of the city to bring in more ideas. IIT Delhi students want to join our campaign. We are working out a plan with them too.
People from remote places are writing in and giving suggestions. NSS teams from city colleges have agreed to volunteer. Even professionals and a lot of working class enthusiasts, who feel they way we do, are joining in with suggestions.
What’s your take on the culprits indulging in corruption in the CWG?
We want them to be tried. Let every accused be tried and the cases be probed. Not one should escape or be let free. We want the Games to get over smoothly and then the proceedings can be carried on.
What are your further plans?
We are working on creating a CWG Delhi crew that will actually take part in the Games doing ground zero work. But that will take time and it also depends on the response from Delhi and the OC. Efforts are on, we want more people to sign in and come up with ideas. If we put energies and resources together, we can definitely pull it off. We also have very less time on hand. Keeping everything in mind, we will do every bit we can and not stop our efforts.
Anjali Bhagwat, rifle shooter
“The controversy is an internal affair. We need to look at the larger picture. It is an honour for our nation to host the Games. Every time, when I go to other nations to play, I have received great hospitality and warmth from the host nation. As somebody from the sports arena, I want my country to be a great host for every sports professional visiting our nation. We need to encourage and boost sports in India at all possible levels. We all should cheer for the Games.”
Brian Carvalho, Wilson College
“Much as we may despise those at the helm of the CWG or those taking all the decisions, we must realise the scale of this event. I’m sure, India may not be all that well prepared to receive the Games or that the stadiums in Delhi can get flooded overnight. But we had taken this decision to bring the Games to India as a nation, so why form groups and point fingers now at this late a stage. Even if the event is going to happen in Delhi, it’s India that’s going to be mentioned in the news, and not just the select venues. We go around chanting ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ all around. Maybe it’s time we put the meaning of that line to use.”
What you can do…
- STOP cribbing about the Games and spread the word of hope. Tell your friends about it.
-Log on to their website www.cheercwg2010.in and submit your name, email address, contact number.
Ask your friends and relatives to join them too
-You can give them your ideas, suggestions, responses and participate actively.
-Join their facebook page, www.facebook.com/cheercwg2010, and participate in the discussions and forums