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Muslims outcaste in Uncommon CWG

New Delhi: The hoopla behind Commonwealth Games is over. The crux of the long marathon appears to be an amalgamation of joy and sorrow. Muslims who are approximately 16 crore got only two and a half medals out of 101. Is there any dearth of talented Muslim sports persons in our country? Or have they been ignored? Anisa Sayed won two gold in 25m pistol in women’s category single and double while Sania Mirza got silver in women’s single tennis. Imran from Mhow was also a joint winner in shooting won gold along with Gagan Narang.

The medal tally (Gold 38, Silver 27 and Bronze 36), on face value looks impressive. But the common man believes that the amount spent on the games could have been utilised in much more meaningful ways. Had even a fraction of the amount of Rs 70,000 crore been spent on our sportsmen and for their training facilities they could fetch the same number of medals in Olympics. Rather than introspecting where we performed and what else is needed to enhance the medals tally and the spirit of our sportsmen, officials have started playing the blame game. The officials concerned are pointing fingers on one another as the probe begins for corruption in CWG at various levels.
Our chest might have broadened in pride by knowing that India ranked second in the medals tally, but on the other side our heads must hang in shame when we come across the stark reality that we are on top among the Commonwealth countries in terms of highest number of malnourished children. According to a report under title “Commonwealth or Common Hunger,” released by an NGO, Save the Children: “About 43% of India’s children are underweight, and 7 million under five are severely malnourished. The report also says that 64% of the world’s underweight children live in 54 Commonwealth countries, and India has both the highest number and the highest proportion of underweight children. Agriculture scientist and chairperson of the Coalition for Sustainable Nutrition Security in India, M S Swaminathan said,”India has a vast burden of malnutrition among children and mothers, and the Prime Minister has called it a national shame. We now need to see urgent action that will deliver real change in the lives of mothers and their children in India.”

Another opinion put forward by Vir Sanghvi of the Hindustan Times, in his article on productive utilisation of money spent on the Commonwealth Games, is that this money could have been better used to overhaul healthcare in our cities. Thousands of schools could have come up. Chaotic traffic system could have been restructured to control the growing traffic mess. However, for the government all is well that ends well. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2010 on page no. 20

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