Asian athletes wrestle dirty washrooms, mosquitoes in Delhi

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first_imgInternational athletes who have arrived in Delhi for the annual Asian Wrestling Championship that kicked off on Wednesday are facing what can be described as a “loos-loos situation”.Faced with dirty toilets, messy surroundings and swarms of mosquitoes at the Sports Authority of India’s KD Jadhav indoor hall inside Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Stadium, the fighters have lodged a strong protest with the Wrestling Federation of India. Some said they have been forced to answer nature’s call out in the open.The incident comes about three years into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission that aims to make the country clean and free of open defecation by 2019. The PM led the drive in 2014 by wielding the broom at the Mandir Marg Police Station in the Capital and exhorted everyone to follow suit.As many as 23 nations are participating in the five-day wrestling event and many have complained about the dirty washrooms and flies all over the place.International wrestlers and officials, who spoke to Mail Today, appeared incensed at the circumstances.”We heard about the mosquito-borne diseases (chikungunya and dengue) in Delhi and if you go to the toilets here you can for sure be bitten by one of those dangerous mosquitoes. We spoke to the organisers but nothing much has been done,” said an international wrestler on condition of anonymity.India has the largest number of urban dwellers without toilets at home and the highest number of people defecating in the open, according to a report by WaterAid, an international water and sanitation nonprofit.advertisementEven a star Indian wrestler slammed the management of the event. “I got to know from my foreign friends that they are scared of chikungunya and dengue. You can see the entrance gate of the KD Jadhav indoor stadium; it’s so dirty. Well, men can go out for nature’s call but what about the women,” the wrestler said.OFFICIAL SAYS ISSUE ‘SORTED’ Mail Today also visited the spots pointed out by the athletes and found that the situation was actually far from sanitary. WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar, however, said everything was being taken care of and the toilets were being cleaned.”We have asked the caretaker to keep a watch on it,” he said. “On the first day there were many mosquitoes but we did fogging and SAI also helped us. As you know that in Delhi there is problem of mosquitoes and they don’t even need accreditation to enter,” he joked. “We got to know about the problems of wrestlers and we immediately sorted the situation out.”The Swachh Bharat survey carried out in January-February this year in 434 cities, with the results made public this month, showed that Delhi had slipped in the rankings compared to last year.NO HOTELS FOR INDIAN WOMEN WRESTLERSThere were also reports that Indian women wrestlers who came to the event directly from a Lucknow camp had to wait at the stadium as no hotel had been booked for them.”We spent our whole day at the stadium. We came here in the morning (on May 10) and we were tired and forced to sleep in the stadium only. We were assigned a hotel late in the evening,” a female wrestler told Mail Today.This at a time when WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been made the vice-president of the international body-United World Wrestling (UWW).The first day of the championship lacked sheen as it kicked off to a poor response with little in the form of facilities for either the fans or the media. Two days have gone by and the journalists covering the event are yet to get their accreditations.During the previous edition held in Thailand, India were placed seventh with nine medals- one gold, three silvers and five bronzes. A 24-strong team is in the championship this time with eight each in freestyle, women and Greco-Roman category. Twenty-four gold and silver along with 48 bronze medals are up for grabs. India has already picked up three bronze medals.ALSO READ | PM Modi’s gamechanger Swachh Bharat mission: Cities getting rid of dirty picture? ALSO READ | How did Indore and Bhopal improve their rankings to become cleanest cities in countrylast_img

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