Célia em Movimento

an E-CHANGER volunteer for 7 years, celia worked until june 2007 for the 'gender sector' of the MST/BA - the rural landless workers movement in the northeastern brazilian state of bahia. from then until june 2010 she worked at the international secretariat of the world march of women in são paulo. although she is no longer a volunteer, she still works in brazil with the WMW and E-CHANGER and will therefore continue to share her professional and personal experiences... enjoy!

27 September 2010

Over 1000 women registered for the Closing Event of the World March of Women's 3rd International Action: Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, 13th - 17th October 2010

More information: www.wmw2010.info


The Hidden Crisis of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi

Making headlines today, even live up to the minute coverage on The Guardian online, is the crisis of the Commonwealth Games meant to be starting in less than two weeks in Delhi. Due to major problems with the infrastructure for the games, whether Delhi is ready is being seriously questioned.

But there is a hidden crisis not even mentioned in the reports, the crisis of the residents of Delhi. In the run up to the games to make Delhi “a world class city”, hundreds of thousands of people living have been displaced and evicted from their homes, the urban poor including beggars, rubbish pickers, rickshaw drivers have been rounded up and hidden from the eyes of the world and workers on the sites to be used in the games have faced massive exploitation. On top of this, huge amounts of public money meant to be spent on social services has been shifted to the games, All of this was revealed in a damning report by Miloon Kothari, the director of the Housing and Migrants Network, and former UN Special Rapporteur on Housing.

In the focus on the external, today’s news declares that the athletes’ accommodation is “unfit for human habitation”. Yet no mention is made of the fact that one in four people in Delhi live in ‘slums’ meaning that they are squeezed into shacks, made of makeshift materials without any water, toilets or electricity. Conditions that really are unfit for human habitation. As Kothari’s report highlights, in a country where one in three people live in poverty, it does seem paradoxical to spend so much money on a one off event. This paradox needs to be questioned.

But Delhi and the Commonwealth Games are not isolated instances. Similar crises of forced removals happened in the lead up to the Olympics in Beijing and the World Cup in South Africa. Similar questions were raised by the people on why vast amounts were being spent on one off events when a significant proportion of the population live in abject poverty. Similar crises were hidden whilst the games went on.