Herald: Volunteers cry over poor food, petty TA

Volunteers cry over poor food, petty TA

12 Oct 2017 05:56am IST
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12 Oct 2017 05:56am IST

Local Organising Committee spokesperson regrets incident; Fresh vendor hired

Anant Bakhale

Volunteers at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda working for FIFA under-17 World Cup are very upset over the treatment meted out to them by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) which has not lived up to its reputation of being a part of FIFA’s WC standard.

The local volunteers, who begin work in the morning, labour for nearly 11 to 12 hours a day. They are provided with only two meal coupons which are pure vegetarian besides the food provided is also of very low quality, sources said.

A group of volunteers has expressed total displeasure at the sub-standard food given to them which, the group felt, should be similar to that provided to the referees, VVIPs etc.

“When we applied for volunteer job we were given a form wherein there was an option for veg and non-veg food. I had ticked for non-veg but it has not been served till date. Besides food given to us is sub-standard”, a group of volunteers said on condition of anonymity.

“We are working more than 11 hours a day for which we are given only two coupons (lunch and dinner) and the food served to us in dal, rice and a vegetable bhaji. The condition of dal is very bad and the rice quality is also not good. We are not given breakfast or snacks for the whole day which makes us difficult to survive for the long hours”, added a volunteer.

“Besides the volunteers also not treated equally”, the volunteer added.

The travelling allowance which is mere Rs 200 has also not been paid to these volunteers as they are on a-11 hour duty ending at 11.30 p.m.

“We are on 11 to 12-hour duty. We leave from home in the morning at around 9 a.m. and return  at 12 mid night. We are relieved from our duties only after the second match is over that is 11.30 p.m. We are allotted a travelling allowance of Rs 200 which has not been paid to us till date”, another said.

“At 11.30 p.m. when we leave from the ground there is no public transport available as such we have to use private transport which costs much higher than the allowance given to us. If you compare the same with the FIFA standard it comes to about three dollars a day”, the volunteer added.

When contacted LOC spokesperson he said, “The well being of the volunteers of the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 is of utmost priority to the LOC. The team at any venue is served the same refreshments as the rest of the workforce. It is ensured that the supplier provides us with hygienic and healthy food - what transpired in Goa thus has been taken extremely seriously by us”.

“We have let go of the contracted caterer and brought in a fresh vendor - we regret the incident and will try and ensure that an occurrence of similar nature isn't repeated in the future”, he added.

About the allowance handed out to volunteers he said that the payments are done on a fortnightly basis and not daily - our managers have ensured that payments for the month of September have all been cleared. The outstanding amounts will be cleared by end of this week too.

It has also been reported that the rice given to the police is ‘plastic’. A video is doing rounds in the social media.

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