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Delhi 2010 will promote greater participation of women in sports

NEW DELHI, 11 May 2010: In its endeavour to achieve greater participation, gender equality, and to address all women related matters during the Games time and beyond, the Organising Committee Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi (OC CWG Delhi 2010) today held its first Women Sub-committee meeting headed by its Chairperson Ms. Sara Pilot and Ms. Lora Prabhu, Convenor. It was attended by the OC CWG Delhi 2010 Chairman Mr. Suresh Kalmadi MP and members of the Sub-committee including prominent women personalities from different sections.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Kalmadi said 40 percent of the workforce in the OC CWG Delhi 2010 is women and it shows OC’s commitment to give equal participation to them. “Half of the 8000 athletes coming to participate in the Games are women and they will be accommodated in the Games Village. I propose to have a woman as the Deputy Mayor of the Village so that women issues can be taken care of in a better way,” he added. Thereafter the Sub-committee proposed Air Marshall (Retd.) Ms. Padma Bandhopadhyay to be the Deputy Mayor of the Games Village.

Mr. Kalmadi also suggested to the Sub- committee to ensure greater participation of women in the Domestic Sector of the Queen’s Baton Relay 2010 Delhi and other functionalities of the Games like hospitality.

Sub- committee’s Chairperson Ms. Sara Pilot, in her presentation gave the slogan of “voice, choice, freedom and rights for women”. She also reiterated that a national level impetus needs to be created for women related issues.

Ms. Gul Panag, actress, social activist and member of the Sub-committee said, “We need activism in this matter, we already have many constitutional articles that legally bind the government to ensure gender equality.” Another member, Ms. Kalli Puri said, “Our idea is to do one big signature activity with this organisation to create a role model from an underprivileged section of the society who can serve as the brand ambassador to this cause.”

All members were of the view that sports are a big tool to empower women and also said that there is a need to empower women in sports itself. Commonwealth Games are a platform giving the country an opportunity to enhance visibility of sports and women.

The Sub- committee unanimously echoed Mr. Kalmadi’s view that upcoming Commonwealth Games is the immediate goal and a launch pad to boost women’s participation in sports and it can help in creating awareness in the entire system to spot and nurture the talent at an early age and promoting Olympic sports in the country in general.

Mr. Kalmadi gave his full support to suggestions given by the members on setting up a Women Help-desk in the Games Village, training volunteers and workforce in a gender sensitive way and enhancing female viewership of the Games.

The eminent Sub-committee members present in the meeting included Ms. Sayeda Hamid (Member, Planning Commission), Ms. Jyoti Suri (President, lalit Group), Ms. Indu Puri (Arjuna Awardee, table Tennis Champion), Ms. Abha Sehgal (Principal, Sanskriti School), Shobhana Bhartia (Hindustan Times), Ms. Barkha Dutt (NDTV), Ms. Tanya Chaitanya (Editor, Femina), Ms. Nisha Agarwal (CEO Oxfam), Mr. Ravi Verma (Regional Director, ICRW) and Ms. Kanta Singh (Women Power Connect).

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