Wednesday, June 30, 2010

30,000 Games volunteers to be trained in 3 months

With three months to go before the Commonwealth Games, the OC is now getting its volunteers trained as D-Day approaches. While the timescale is delayed as usual for the Melbourne Games in 2006, training had taken place almost a year in advance, OC is hoping that three months will be enough to train 30,000 people on not only how to help in conducting an international event but also, how to react in emergency situations.

It's a concern that OC's training partners, a consortium headed by Amity University including Event Knowledge Services (EKS) besides others, claims will be tackled by the day-long programmes that have been devised for training the volunteers. Said Christian Napier of EKS, "The timeline has been a challenge... but there are advantages to conducting the training near the event date, since their (volunteers) motivation levels are kept high.'' EKS, incidentally, was the training partner in the Melbourne Games as well as in the Asia Games in Doha and the recent PanAsia games in Rio.

Motivation levels were certainly high on Wednesday as a group of 250-odd volunteers underwent the first phase of training. The training which has been divided into general (one day), role specific (half day) and venue specific (half day) sessions will be imparted to 30,000 volunteers who have come from all walks of life. For many, it's a lifetime opportunity that has brought them from over 500km away like Rahul Goel from Bhatinda. Or simply a desire to showcase the city to a bunch of outsiders like Razi Ahmad from Jamia Milia university. "I'm a student of history and I'd like to pass on my knowledge about the city's past to the visitors,'' added Ahmad. What's common amongst all is the high level of dedication and the willingness to spend time doing something for Delhi. Said Shantanu Basu, one of the trainers at the venue, "The sessions are not only geared to disseminate information but also turn this disparate group of people into a team.''

The volunteers, who will be deployed across various functional areas, have been selected by not only OC officials, but also 40 Delhi government school teachers. Of the 30,000 shortlisted, around 4,000 are from the general public, comprising housewives, retired officials, senior citizens. The others are from Delhi University, ministry of tourism, NCC, NSS and the Delhi government. Added Ashok Chauhan of Amity, "The training methodology has been specially structured for the Games by us, EKS and other consortium members.'' Interestingly, while Amity is training the volunteers without charging OC, its deal with the latter will enable it to be part of the branding exercise for the Games. Said Sudhir Mittal, a senior official from the OC, "The sponsorship is based on the amount of the VIK (value in kind), allowing Amity to advertise as part of the Games brand.'' The sponsorship is worth Rs 15 crore.

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