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Half Of Games Volunteers Disappear With CWG Kit

An estimated 10,000 volunteers have dropped out after enrolling for the Commonwealth Games, reports Times of India.  The volunteers have displayed less than expected zest for the Games due to what is seen as a
PTI September 30, 2010 12:51 IST
PTI
An estimated 10,000 volunteers have dropped out after enrolling for the Commonwealth Games, reports Times of India.  The volunteers have displayed less than expected zest for the Games due to what is seen as a combination of reasons ranging from random allocation of responsibilities, relatively unglamorous assignments and poor training and motivation.  

A part of the problem also seems to have been the terms offered to volunteers. Instead of payments, the experience of participating in the Games with a certificate at the end of the event are the main rewards. However, there is also a smart set of clothes — the kit costs Rs 12,000 — besides meals while at work.  

While these terms are the norm at most such events — the thrill and experience of the job and an opportunity to watch top athletes being the big hook — the attrition rate of volunteers has been rather high. Beset with controversies, the Games have perhaps not proved too attractive for many who signed up. Missing volunteers: Private parties pitch in  .

Sources said the missing volunteers have gone away with their uniforms that might have been what they found to be of interest. Perhaps, they should have been paid a daily allowance at least. Some of the work is quite tough and requires good communication skills, said an official who confirmed mass desertions. The situation has led to private parties having to step up their participation.  

“We are doing all that has been asked of us,” said Abhijit Sarkar, spokesperson of Sahara group. Many of the volunteers at the airport and Village are from the group. It is being hoped that the volunteers will return as those who did turn up at the Village have made a good impression on athletes who have moved in.  

It is also possible that the volunteers could not be immune from the overall ineptness that has marked the functioning of the OC. There is concern over how the logistics of the events will be affected by the lack of volunteers though some feel there is enough human resource.  

The volunteers were part of the effort to make the Games a participatory event and with nearly half of the total 22,000 going absent without leave, it is quite a hole to fill.  

Complaints of missing volunteers have been pouring in at the airport and important centres, even though an official associated with the volunteer programme claimed that all of them turned up at the Village.  

Volunteers have been given two pairs of vibrant uniforms, free Metro passes from home to venues and packaged food. These volunteers have been trained by Amity University. It is also being wondered how the catering contracts will be honoured as the caterers would be making a certain number of food packets every day.