Delhi will need a total of 30,000 volunteers pitching in during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. With just 382 days to go, the government is yet to launch the official volunteer programme for the games.
The volunteers will not only be lending a helping hand to authorities in managing various aspects of the games - customer services, logistics, etc - but will also act as cultural ambassadors for the city.
The Officials at the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) defied concerns and said things are on schedule and there is no reason to panic. The OC will officially launch the volunteer programme on December 5 to coincide with International Volunteer's Day.
"The initial screening and sourcing of volunteers is already underway. The entire process will be completed by December 31," said Manjushree S. Roy, Director, Organising Committee (Volunteer Programme, Publicity and Community Relations). But, some government officials say the OC should have ideally started the training of volunteers by now.
"Training volunteers requires time. For, apart from ensuring visitors do not face problems during the Games, they will also be responsible for showcasing the country's culture," said a government official who did not want to be quoted.
"A volunteer has to have adequate training to do that. No specifications for training have been laid down. It is about time we start, otherwise it would be too late."
China started the process of training the volunteers two years before the 2008 Beijing Olympics began. Similarly Melbourne started recruiting and training volunteers about a year before the March 2006 Commonwealth Games.
“Training of volunteers will start from January next year. We have worked on all the modalities and there is no need to worry,” said a senior Delhi government official.