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Delhi, smarten up before Games: CM

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has an ambitious new plan — getting rude, unruly Delhiites to turn into charming, gracious hosts for the Commonwealth Games in October. And with just 198 days to go for the sporting extravaganza, she has her task cut out.

delhi Updated: Mar 19, 2010 01:05 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has an ambitious new plan — getting rude, unruly Delhiites to turn into charming, gracious hosts for the Commonwealth Games in October. And with just 198 days to go for the sporting extravaganza, she has her task cut out.

The government is compiling what can be called the big book of good manners — which the tourism department plans to unleash on Delhiites via billboards, pamphlets, websites and audiovisual means in the coming months.

“We want to change Delhi’s public culture; their behaviour towards each other and to guests… so that they are courteous,” Dikshit said at the first Delhi Tourism Conclave on Thursday. “We want tourists to go back with the impression that Delhi is a sophisticated city.”

This package of dos and don’ts, called ‘Delhi Celebrates’, will help the city folk portray the Capital as a friendly, clean and safe city, said Delhi Tourism head Rina Ray. “We want to tell them don’t urinate in public, don’t spit, keep your houses and shops clean, keep public transport safe and such things,” she told HT. “This will tell every Delhiite that instead of being on the sidelines as a spectator, he or she can contribute to a better Games.”

Six months ago, Home Minister P. Chidambaram had criticised Delhiites for being rude, loud, discourteous. But the state government believes there is a cure for this famous lack of manners, and that time isn’t short. Infact, Ray said: “We don’t want to start (the campaign) too early lest it fizzles out.”