Saturday, August 21, 2010

Volunteer Training Program Suffering Due to Delays in Venue Completion

The delay in handing over of the venues is now having unforeseen fallout. Sources in the organizing committee (OC) say the late handover of venues has also pushed the next phase of the training programme of volunteers by a few weeks. Around 30,000 volunteers are to receive venue-specific training the last part of the volunteer programme once the venues are with the OC.

However, with the venues yet to be ready and completely taken over by the OC, there has been a cascading effect, say OC officials. ‘‘At present, the inventory is still on in many venues, with the venue owners correcting or putting in place requests and suggestions that the OC has given. After this is over, the actual overlay work will commence,’’ revealed the official. In other words, the various functional areas associated with the venues like technology, venue development and operations, spectator services, catering, cleaning and waste management, sports and others, are yet to become fully functional. This would take at least a fortnight after a full takeover, say sources. With the OC vice-chairman Randhir Singh putting the deadline as August 25, the Games-readiness is expected not before almost mid-September, the officials add.

According to the OC officials, the training of volunteers at venues would ideally take place thereafter, pushing the schedule far behind the original deadline. As per the earlier schedule, while general training was supposed to get over by June-end, role-specific training was scheduled for July with venue-specific training aimed for August. This schedule, however, has already gone haywire for the OC. The role-specific training had got delayed due to unavailability of training manuals earlier last month. With venues being available late, the training programme of the volunteers is expected to only get further delayed.

The training, which has been divided into general (one day), role specific (half day) and venue specific (half day) sessions, will be imparted to 30,000 volunteers. Of the those selected, 22,000 will be actually deployed. Around 4,000 are from the general public, comprising housewives, retired officials, senior citizens. The others are from Delhi University, ministry of tourism, NCC, NSS and the Delhi government. Amity along with consortium partners EKS of Australia have structured the training methodology. Interestingly, while Amity is training the volunteers without charging any fee from the OC, its deal with the latter will enable it to be part of the branding exercise for the Games. The sponsorship is worth Rs 15 crore.