Call-off Commonwealth Games, say rights activists


New Delhi : Human rights activists Wednesday slammed the Commonwealth Games, its organisers and the government agencies involved and demanded that the mega-event, to be held in the capital in 39 days, be called off.

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“The Commonwealth Games should be called off as the civil liberties have been curtailed and human rights violations have grown in leaps and bounds. This is evident as hundreds of beggars are criminalised and they are displaced,” Housing and Land Rights Network executive director Miloon Kothari said.

“In the name of building, cleaning and beautifying the city for the big event, the working poor are being evicted from their homes and work places. No labour and safety measures have been followed,” he said.

The activists alleged that the Commonwealth Games have little to do with sports. Thousands of families were displaced to build infrastructure for the Games. Girls and women are being trafficked and they are being turned into prostitutes for the Games, he said.

Meanwhile, NGO Hazards Centre released a report on ‘Heritage Games – Cleaning up the Debris’ and accused the CWG officials of violating and denying basic human rights to the poor and backward in the garb of development.

According to the report, the other cities in the developed world which conducted such mega sporting events took 25 years to pay off the debts. As for India, it will be even higher.

The report states that in the name of ‘world-class’ city, much of the development and renovation is taking place at selected zones and being legitimised on the basis of the supposed economic benefits of sports.