Capital goes into publicity overdrive

Capital goes into publicity overdrive

Debris was strewn all around the venues, corruption allegations of various proportions flew thick and fast, drug cheats were exposed while the visibility of the Games remained at sub-zero level. In short, a general disbelief prevailed about the smooth conduct of the quadrennial bash.

With another 15 days to go, the scenario in the capital is undergoing a  change. The venues look spick and span, a classy Games Village got its soft-launch, delegates from various countries have started to arrive, erasing doubts over the participation of some nations, and there is a settled look about the entire procedure. “There is increased response from the public to the Games. In the last few days, there are more positive signs about and people, I think, are beginning to believe nothing is amiss,” said Randhir Singh, Secretary-General of the Indian Olympic Association.

Public support is essential for any sporting event for its triumph and with the Delhiites gradually warming to the event the city is gaining a festival look. A trip around Delhi will reveal more hoardings in hot spots like malls, metro stations, flyovers and parks, and even some of the schools have set up billboards projecting the central theme of CWG — ‘Come Out And Play.’ With the Delhi Government on a publicity overdrive, its education department has asked many schools to exempt students from examination during the period. “We have asked schools to exempt those students participating in the CWG ceremonies and who are part of other Games activities from examinations till October 15. Many of them have written back to us in the affirmative,” said an education department official.

Lalit Bhanot, Secretary General of the Organising Committee, is quite happy about the changes while hoping for increased public response. “The last week or so have seen marked change in the way the Games is being viewed. We are putting up new hoardings in all possible thoroughfares to spread awareness. Hopefully, public enthusiasm will reach the peak once the Games begin on October 3. “Only a few minor things, like the traffic restrictions in the Games area, needed to be settled and we are confident of applying finishes touch to them soon,” Bhanot said.

While last week was all about a perception change for the Games, it still lacks a catchy theme song — a significant component that will drill in the spirit of a sporting event into the consciousness of the masses, like Shakira’s ‘Waka Waka’ did.

 But with just over two weeks remaining for the Games not many have listened to the Delhi CWG theme song ‘India bula liya’ and the composition has failed to impress those who have heard it. It’s a strange situation for a tune created by Oscar winner AR Rahman. Now, the new tweaked version, expected to be peppier than the original number, is set to be released in a week. “The new version will be more  appealing to public in all age categories. There will be more music, especially instrumental, in the new version and I am sure that it will be a hit with the audience,” said Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman of the CWG OC. With some positives emerging during the last week, the CWG supremo will also be hoping for a similar response to the Games.

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