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The wealth of nations and London 2012

Delhi 2010 - lessons for 2012?

Rupa Jha on BBC Radio 4’s Crossing Continents has been looking into the Commonwealth Games taking place in New Delhi next month.

India saddles new and old worlds – a booming economy and an information Technology hub alongside extreme poverty. All this against, what some might argue is an unsustainably rising population.

Almost half of those of working age earn less than $1.25 a day according to the World Bank and many of those currently working on the preparations for the Commonwealth Games are not even sure who they are working for and what will be on their doorsteps come October.

The Rupa Jha report and the Delhi Games will be listened to and watched closely as the London 2012 Olympics will throw up problems, not dissimilar to some of those facing Delhi.

Although the UK may not have the extreme poverty of India, the games in East London present their own unique challenges. With one of the largest housing shortages of any part of the UK, the proposed conversion of the Olympic village to affordable housing stock has the potential to kick start a local economy suffering from recession. How will Delhi compare?

There’s also the small matter of the 2012 Games taking place during the Holy Month of Ramadan, in one of the most populated Muslim areas of the UK. How might this affect competing Muslim athletes observing fast and discourage a large section of local communities from attending?

In an ever increasing global world, crossing continents, cultures and religions are not therefore, questions only for impoverished India, but also closer to home in the east end of London.

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One Response

  1. Muslim athletes will have to choose whether they want to fast or not while competing in the games, if at all. We can’t all have everything. It is one of those ethical dilemmas that people come across all the time, clashes between idealism and pragmatism. It’s the one problem, which humans face, for which we have no concrete answer, only choice.

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