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Parents, teachers of students not allowed

They will be starting the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games by welcoming the world to India. Avishek G Dastidar reports.

delhi Updated: Oct 02, 2010 00:00 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

They will be starting the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games by welcoming the world to India.

They have been slogging for months, waking up early morning to reach the practice grounds and spending hours at a stretch preparing for the event.

But still hundreds of schoolchildren, who are part of the ceremony's curtain-raising "Swagatam" segment, will not find their parents and teachers cheering them on from the stands of the stadium on Sunday.

The Games Organising Committee has not issued any invites to the schools that have voluntarily participated. Worse, the teachers who have been accompanying the children for the past several months of practice will not be able to access the stands either.

They will be waiting at the holding area outside the stands when the shows are on. And the schools are naturally not happy about this.

"We had expected some invites to at least some teachers, who have been part of the participating groups. But no communication came from the OC. It is disappointing," said Seema Sahay, principal of Ryan International, Rohini, which has contributed 54 children for the "Swagatam" segment.

It's not free passes, but the complete lack of facilitation in terms of tickets that has irked the schools.

"They could have at least offered some tickets for sale through schools, giving parents a chance to witness such a historic event our children are participating in," said Anita Kumar, parent of a South Delhi school that is part of the contingent.

Parents were irked also because the students have to sit for exams after the Games but they never got enough time to study, thanks to last few month's hectic practice.

While Shovana Narayan, head of Ceremonies at the OC refused to comment, another official said that OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi had strict orders against issuing of passes.

"But we did not know that even the participating schools won't have an advantage over outsiders in securing a few tickets," he said, on condition of anonymity.