Nine days to go for the Commonwealth Games and not even nine volunteers were outside the swanky T3 terminal at the India Gandhi International Airport on Thursday.
The first impression is said to be the last impression and what Allan McCormick --- a businessman and uncle of English hockey player Barry Middleton --- noticed on arrival in the afternoon didn’t really endear him to the famed Indian hospitality. The 36-year-old, on his maiden visit to India, could not find a single volunteer to guide him to his hotel in Nehru Place.
"I am on a business visit but have planned my schedule in such a way that I can catch up on some hockey action. Are there no travel kiosks where I can get information about the city and how best to travel here?" he asked.
McCormick was not the only one who was left helpless even as the handful of volunteers present at the airport were stationed outside a side exit for welcoming the Commonwealth Games Federation president, Mike Fennell. "I got a map of the city from a kiosk inside the terminal. I have done my share of research on the web, so I won’t really need much help," said Greg Willoughby, another English traveller who was not even aware that there are volunteers to assist him. The CWG will see more more such travellers coming into Delhi, ones who will find themselves relying more on their instincts than volunteers.
A volunteer said they were doing their best to assist the travellers but with frequent VIP movement, things were getting tough. “We have been helping most of the travellers. Things will change as the athletes and officials start pouring in.”