New Delhi: The 2010 Commonwealth Games, the largest sporting extravaganza in India, is exactly 1500 days away. But is Delhi ready? Efforts are on to muster up public support for the games but on the infrastructural front, progress has been slow.
A gala show was organised at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi to remind the residents of the Capital that the 2010 Commonwealth Games are getting closer by the day.
And the banners said it prominently that there are just 1500 days to go before the games begin.
The organising committee is doing its best to raise awareness but what about the actual groundwork? The Indian Olympic Association admits that things are moving very slowly.
Randhir Singh, member of the organising committee, says: "We are worried. People have to realise that only 1500 days are left, and we have to get on with the organisation of the Games, and we have to get on with the facilities that have to be created."
Some of India's top sportsmen -- both past and present -- had turned up and a ceremonial bus was flagged off that will roam the streets of Delhi to spread the awareness about the Games and get people involved.
But some felt that awareness apart, attention should also be paid on putting up a good show medal wise.
Milkha Singh, former track and field legend, says: "In the 20 disciplines, each and every athlete is responsible for his/her result in the coming four years, even if we have to keep coaches on a contract basis, even if any extra man needs to be employed. Do that."
Rajyavardha Rathore, Olympic silver medallist, says: "99% of the sportsmen today, live a very frustrated life. Can we change that? These very students present here are going to be sportsmen of tomorrow. Can we give them a direction?"
Fifteen hundred days may seem a long way off. But until now, preparations are almost nil. Renovation works in the stadiums haven’t started. And the Games village site is still a barren piece of land. The clock is ticking down for the organising committee.