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Empty Stands
A crucial event has been reduced to a triviality

Misplaced judgments are the irony of our times. The buildup to the 2010 Commonwealth Games are the toast of the country and the sneezes of cricketers capture national headlines, but other significant sporting events in the corners of the country receive step-motherly treatment.

Later this year, the Fourth CISM Military World Games (MWG) are scheduled to be held in Hyderabad (from 14th to 21 October). CISM is the French acronym for the International Military Sports Council. The meet would have circa 6000 participants from 127 countries. Amongst the 15 sporting disciplines, 10 are standard ones, while 3 others are military specific disciplines (like military pentathlon, parachuting and shooting).The mascot of the games is ‘bravo’, a bull and the Indian government has plans to take sports in India to a higher pedestal of the international sporting arena. As an additional initiative related to the meet, the organisers have also planned to inaugurate ‘Mission Greening India’. The mission, as the representative of the media committee states, would plant ten million plants across India. No wonder, given the scale, the MWG is undoubtedly among the biggest sporting events of the country, but several crucial factors related to it are unattended. Central government has allocated a measly Rs 40 crores for the event. Compare that to the 3rd Youth Commonwealth Games that are tobe held in Pune, which would be attended by 1700 participants from 71 countries, but the budget allocation for it is Rs 282 crores. The skewed allocation to the Military World Games is diametrically against its stated objectives. Vice-Chairman of the media publicity committee, D. J Narayan comments: “The Military World Games are being held for the first time in India. We are desirous that the youth of the country gets educated adequately both about the military and sports, but unfortunately the awareness among the youth is extremely low”.

It is of paramount importance that these games are given a higher exposure by the government and a twisted mindset is excised.

Kumar Anuj

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