Come as a friend and go back as family: Kalmadi`s message

"Come as a friend and go back as a family," is the message that Suresh Kalmadi sent out to athletes and officials of the 71 Commonwealth countries.

New Delhi: "Come as a friend and go back as a family," is the message that Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi on Saturday sent out to athletes and officials of the 71 Commonwealth countries.

After conducting a guided tour of the athletes village for journalists, Kalmadi, who is in the eye of a storm over Delhi`s under-preparedness for the Games, said there was no
question of him resigning and he would continue to be the President of Indian Olympic Association even after the Games.
He drifted away from giving any direct answers when asked about India`s future as a venue for the Olympics Games in the near future. "I am concentrating on the Commonwealth Games. We will talk about rest of it when the Games get over," he said.

Addressing a media conference at the Village, Kalmadi said there is some work yet to be completed but will be done soon.

"Work is something that will happen till the end of the Games. We all have to work to make things possible. There is some work yet to be done but it would be completed," he said.
Talking about the Games and what Delhi has in store for the foreign athletes and officials, Kalmadi said, "Our slogan is `come as a friend and go back as a family`. We are one big family and we will take care of everyone."

Seeking to allay fears over security after the recent shooting incident outside Jama Masjid, Kalmadi said, "That incident was not related to the Games but security has been
spruced up after that. There is nothing to worry."

Asked if the pullout by a few star foreign athletes, citing health and security concerns, was a setback to the Games, he said, "I am sure lot of world champions are coming
and new champions would be made here."

Kalmadi also said the cleaning process in the residential towers was already on and the water logging in the campus was due to the rains. "It rained so much and hence the water logging had to happen. But on Saturday being a bright sunny day, the water has receded and rest has been pumped out. Hopefully, sunny days lie ahead."
Organising Committee Secretary General and spokesperson Lalit Bhanot, who came under criticism for saying Indian concept of cleanliness and hygiene was different from
foreigners, said he was "misunderstood" earlier.

"I never meant anything of that sort. I was just telling about the difference of views on the methodology of cleaning things and I was misunderstood," he said.