South Asia

Commonwealth Games: India's pride

Saina Nehwal
Image caption Saina Nehwal secured India's second place position in the medals table

The 2010 Commonwealth Games have come to an end with a spectacular closing ceremony in the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Delhi.

Australia came first in the medals table and India beat England for second in one of the final events, giving an extra boost to the host nation.

People from Delhi and further afield have been telling the BBC what the Games meant to them.

Bunty Kumar, maintenance executive, Delhi

These Games have been good for Delhi. Sport is essential and important for any nation's progress and I am happy that India hosted the event.

Our athletes have done very well. I don't have the time to watch the events on TV but I listen to the news on the radio so I know that India has won many golds.

The Games have caused the public here some distress because many buses were removed from the streets, traffic in many areas was restricted and the city was shut down on certain days.

But then, when guests come to your house, you have to make adjustments for them.

Ram Murty, florist, Delhi

I buy a stock of fresh flowers every morning from the flower market in Connaught Place. Flowers worth millions of rupees are sold there every day.

But because of the closing ceremony, all markets are ordered to remain closed. The vendors tried selling them from their vehicles but the police arrived and chased everyone away.

Still, I think it's good that India hosted the Games in Delhi. The event has brought us a lot of prestige. Whenever I get time, I watch it on TV. I've seen the cycling and wrestling.

Our Indian athletes have performed very well and I'm very proud of them.

Tara Isha, college student, Delhi

For me the high point of the Games was when I went to watch the badminton semi-finals. That's the only event I watched in the stadium - I saw India's Saina Nehwal play and our team won. It was great being part of the crowd, the atmosphere was very infectious.

The impact of the Games is not going to die down soon. We've come second, we've won many medals.

We had a really bad start with the foot overbridge collapsing at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and dirty rooms in the athletes' village. Many big names pulled out because of this.

But we managed to shake off all the negativity once the event started.

Guddu Rathore, auto-rickshaw driver, Delhi

The Games have been a matter of happiness and national pride, but it's not fair to shut down the entire city like this.

I have been driving my auto-rickshaw for two years and I make about 700 rupees ($16) a day. But during the Games, I have had fewer and fewer passengers.

On the closing day, I didn't get a single passenger who wanted to go a long distance because everything is shut.

People are scared - they have heard that lots of roads are closed and they think that if they go out, they will have to take long detours.

So most people are staying in.

Vikrant Verma, computer science student in Delhi

My relatives live near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, so I went to watch the fireworks of the closing ceremony from their terrace. I filmed the lights and felt how successful the Games had been - the emotion made me shaky.

Delhi developed so much to host the Games - watching the events, they didn't even seem to be taking place in India.

People worldwide got easily convinced at the start of the Games that Delhi was in trouble and wouldn't make them a success.

Yes there was an endless list of problems but this was just a small part of the story.

Everyone who lives here united, making things run systematically and perfectly in the end. I'm proud to be Indian.

Premlal Premkumar, publishing editor, Chennai

I was ashamed and hugely disappointed when the Games started, because of how the officials mishandled things.

I hope there will be action taken against the organising committee, because they should have done a better job.

But this was one of the best Games in terms of India's performance and I'm very happy. The boxing and athletics were especially memorable for me.

It's very important for India to be able to say that we can hold a good Games.

I hope this won't make us forget the officials' bad work, but we can be happy with how the Games went.

More comments

India managed to get 101 medals in the Commonwealth Games! Remarkable given the negative emotions just two or three weeks back! Hats off to players. Prof Sadagopan from Bannerghatta, India

Now, imagine if China joined the Commonwealth Games! Where would India stand? Or if the US joined in? Lets be happy but without going overboard. Piyush Kulshreshtha from Mumbai, India

The Delhi Games defied critics and showed that India could host successful Games. There were a lot of naysayers at the beginning who were determined to pour scorn at the efforts of the Indian government and organisers. Now that the games are over, the Indian government can draw a lot of satisfaction from the success of the games. Pancha Chandra

The closing ceremony of the Games was very enjoyable. The fact that India finally managed to rank second made lot of Indians smile, including yours truly. Simarprit Singh from Delhi, India

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