Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sport and Show

Further to this post on our African companion blog concerning the South African 2010 World Cup to promote the prestige of the ruling elites , SOYMB now reads India plans to round up beggars to shield foreigners from New Delhi's rampant poverty during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
In seeking to beautify the city, thousands of slum dwellings have already been demolished, evicting countless residents. The Games village has been built on the site of a demolished slum. A plan to screen the city's sprawling slums is being studied that would involve planting bamboo trees along roads leading to the 17 Games venues. Delhi has up to 200,000 homeless people -- many displaced by construction linked to the Games and the city's flagship metro service. Many beg for a living.

The campaign is part of a drive by civic authorities to turn the capital of 16 million people into a "world-class city." 12 teams of government officials to track down beggars, a mobile magistrate's court to hand out instant sentences and a control room for people to report anyone asking for money.

"The government's mentality is that beggars are garbage and they must be put away to show foreigners what a clean city we have," said Kailash Satyarthi, founder of Save Children Campaign, an Indian non-governmental organisation.

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