Anything but international!

Anything but  international!

Hosting close to 1,400 athletes in 11 events in the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) World Games, the stadium and its facilities appear to be grossly inadequate for the physically challenged athletes who are participating in the event.

“Either there are no ramps at all or they are too steep!,” said Esa Peklea Mattila, a 100 metres wheelchair racer from Finland. Eisa Alfdhli who echoes Mattila’s opinion said that the stadium needed upgradation urgently. “Have you seen the swimming pool?” fumed an official from the Malaysian team. “It is completely unsuitable for special athletes. The level of water is too high,” he said.

Even basic facilities like toilets and changing rooms leave a lot to be desired. “The toilet is so small that physically challenged athletes cannot on their  wheelchair enter inside,” the official added. In general, the visiting athletes find that the infrastructure in the City lacks disabled-friendly facilities.

Transportation woes
“The transportation has been a talking point. Getting into a car that is one metre high is not easy for a person on wheelchairs,” Mattila remarked.
“It is impossible for a disabled person to navigate through the roads of the City,” said Alfdhli. “India in general is just getting sensitised to its physically challenged population. Public transport and places of interest will hopefully become more disabled-friendly in a few years,” expresses Mattila.

Communication and information centres were also found to be far and few in between. “The organisation is terrible. There is a lack of clear communication,” said another official from the Malaysian team. “Nobody seems to know what is happening!” exclaimed Mattila.

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