It was a relief to finally see an article on the human price of the CWG. The article entitled Labour bore the brunt appeared on the NDTV website. Do read it. It talks not only of the plight of the labour that toiledto make the games a reality but also off the callous attitude of the authorities towards the workers and how they have been exploited. The article also refers to a report entitled Games the State plays. This report makes disturbing reading. The exploiting of the voiceless poor seems to be a huge moral scam. Minimum wages were not paid and neither was overtime. Few women were employed and were not paid the same wages as the men. And children too were employed. There was no safety of the workers and the living conditions were abysmal. According to a member of a civil liberties organisation, “the depressing living conditions at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium labour colony represent hovels where human beings have to literally crawl like animals.” This was the plight of about 40 000 workers who toiled day and night to make the show a success. I urge you to read this report as if nothing else, the people who made the Games possible deserve at least that. That is one part of the human tragedy.
The other is being staged as I write these words. Today's newspaper carries the following articles: poor banished from public spaces, cops asks hawkers and vendors to pack up and so on. The message to the downtrodden is clear: don't step out, lest the Games visitors spot you. This is the order of the day.
Many of our parents have come to inform us that they will be leaving the city as with no work they will be unable to survive. We course are not closing pwhy during the Games. This is our own way of protest!